In the clearest indication yet that his days with the Red Sox may be nearing an end, David Ortiz gave a Spanish-language interview to USA Today in which he said money -- and nothing else -- will be the determining factor in whether or not he re-signs with Boston after he becomes a free agent next offseason.
Calling last year's arbitration process "humiliating" and "embarrassing", Ortiz said that once he hits free agency, he'll be "open to anything".
"If you go crazy and give contracts to whoever comes along despite not knowing how they're going to do, then you don't give me my due consideration, even though I do my thing every year, expletive that," he said. "I'm going to be open to anything. My mentality is not going to be, 'I like it here.' It's going to be, 'Bring it to the table, and we'll see what happens.' "
Ortiz was seeking a two-year deal from the Red Sox last offseaon at the same salary he'd received in 2011 (12.5 million), but Boston -- noting that no other full-time designated hitter earns anywhere close to 12.5 million -- would only offer a multiyear contract if Ortiz accepted less money. The sides went to arbitration and Ortiz was awarded 14.25 million.
"It was humiliating," Ortiz said. "There's no reason a guy like me should go through that. All I was looking for was two years, at the same salary."They ended up giving me 2.025 million more than that, and look at my numbers this year. Tell me if they wouldn't have been better off. "And yet they don't hesitate to sign other guys. It was embarrassing."USA Today received an e-mail response from general manager Ben Cherington: "We have enormous respect for David, and one of our offseason priorities was keeping him with the Red Sox. We talked about a number of ways to do that, but ultimately David's acceptance of arbitration focused our efforts on a one-year deal. We were glad to reach a settlement with David prior to a hearing."David is having a terrific season and has been a leader on and off the field for us. We remain hopeful that David will finish his career with the Red Sox."USA Today said Cherington also noted the Sox "would not look to start negotiations on an extension during the season".