Epstein: Ortiz is 'cool' with Sox picking up option


Epstein: Ortiz is 'cool' with Sox picking up option

By Sean McAdam

David Ortiz said recently -- and repeatedly -- that he didn't want just a one-year deal with the Red Sox. The Red Sox, undoubtedly, didn't want to pay a designated hitter, even one as productive as Ortiz, 12.5 million.

And yet, faced with a ticking clock and unable to come up with another solution, that's what both sides ended up with Thursday, with the Red Sox exercising their one-year option on Ortiz for 2011.

No more, no less.

The deal keeps Ortiz under the Red Sox control for another season as the team's DH, a role he has served for most of the last eight seasons.

"We're very happy to get this resolved today in a manner which was ultimately acceptable to both parties,'' said general manager Theo Epstein in a conference call with reporters Thursday afternoon. ''David is a player who is very important to our ownership and to our fans and given these feelings, the fact that he's still very productive and the fact that there was a one-year solution built in to the contract, this seemed not only the most likely outcome but the one that balanced all the various factors in the most appropriate manner.''

Epstein acknowledged that the two sides tried but failed to reach agreement on a deal which would have extended Ortiz's stay.

"But we couldn't find anything that made as much sense as the one-year commitment,'' Epstein said. "In the end, David understands this outcome and is very much OK with it and in the end is committed to the 2011 Red Sox.''

Asked if he thought it possible to still work out an extension before Opening Day, Epstein said: ''You never say never. Things could always come up that cause you to turn in a new direction. But at this point, the feeling is we explored it, it didn't work out.''

Ortiz did not respond to a request for a comment.

Ortiz has been the team's' full-time DH for every season since 2003. He hit 32 homers with 102 RBI in 2010 and posted an .899 OPS. For the second season in a row, he struggled mightily early season, finishing April with a single homer and four RBI.

But he rebounded soon after, earning American League Player of the Month for May and reached the 30-homer, 100-RBI plateau for the first time since 2007.

"He's still very productive,'' said Epstein, "arguably the best and most impactful player at his this position in the game...I think each of the last year years, the most impressive part of David's game performance has been the way he's bounced back from the tough starts...The fact that he was able to dig himself out of really difficult holes both times and go on to put up impressive seasons, that was encouraging.''

Without offering specifics, Epstien maintained that Ortiz was "cool'' with the one-year option being exercised, despite his many public comments in recent months that he would not be satisfied with a deal that didn't go beyond 2011.

''I think in the end, he realized that we werem't in a position to give him what he was looking for with a multi-year arrangement,'' said Epstein, "and this was an outcome that was acceptable to both sides. That was important to us, to be honest with you. I don't think we were interested in picking up the option if it was going to be seen as burdensome or unfair to the player.

"That was a component of these talks, to make sure that ultimately David was content and comfortable playing on the option. Because if youre going to pick up an option of this magnitude, you want to make sure it works for both sides. So hes happy now. We made sure of that before we reached our final decision.''

At 12.5 million, Ortiz will easily be the highest-paid DH in the game. The Texas Rangers Thursday passed on Vladimir Guerrero's 9 million option. Guerrero and Ortiz had similar production numbers in 2010.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

BOSTON (AP)  Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners to earn their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third consecutive win for Rodriguez (4-1), who went six innings, gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span.

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs. Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help from his defense. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.


Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBI in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what manager John Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.


Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.


More AP baseball:https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup again tonight after leaving the Red Sox game Thursday night with knee pain in the fifth inning.

Josh Rutledge will start at second base as the Sox open a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.  

The weather and sloppy field conditions were a factor in John Farrell deciding to get Pedroia out of the game Thursday and conditions haven’t improved significantly Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on that knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked the plunking war between the Orioles and Red Sox.

The full lineups: 

Jean Segura SS
Guillermo Heredia CF
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Danny Valencia 1B
Taylor Motter LF
Ben Gamel RF
Mike Zunino C

Yovanni Gallardo RHP

Mookie Betts RF
Andrew Benintendi LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Josh Rutledge 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr CF
Christian Vazquez C
Deven Marrero 3B

Eduardo Rodriguez LHP