Boston Red Sox

Ortiz nearing free-agent decision

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Ortiz nearing free-agent decision

CAP CANA, Dominican Republic -- If you think David Ortiz has been consumed with free agency -- worried about whether he'll return to the Red Sox, weighing offers from other teams -- well, you thought wrong.

"I've been involved with this activity," he said Friday in a one-on-one interview with Comcast SportsNet's Jessica Moran, referring to this weekend's charity golf tournament that he's hosting.

"My agent knows I've been so busy with putting this together here, I told him, 'Only let me know if we are getting close to what we want'," said Ortiz. " 'Other than that, you talk to them. You deal with everything, and at one point we catch up'. "

"Last thing I heard, the Red Sox offered me arbitration."

But the tournament will be over Sunday. That makes it decision time . . . or close to it.

"Now when I meet with agent Fern Cuza on Monday, we're going to decide what I'm going to do," Ortiz told Moran.

Is accepting arbitration -- which would probably guarantee him a raise to about 14 million, but would mean accepting a one-year deal when he clearly wants two or three years -- one of his options?

"I haven't thought about it," he said. "I haven't been in this situation before. So it's something you talk to your agents about, and then decide what's better for you and the team."

It was part of an in-depth interview that touched on many points, including . . .

Are a lot of teams interested in signing him?
"My agent told me this week there's a good group of teams that would like to talk to us about our situation. They've been having conversations with some people and I'm a free agent and I got to listen to what everyone has to say, right? We're going to sit down and talk about it and make decisions."

What's more important, money or a long-term contract?
"It's the whole package. The number one thing is respect, the respect that you get from whoever you play for, because you know how you been doing your thing through the years. It's business, but everyone asks you for loyalty when it comes down to this business. So I think there's a lot involved and then it comes down to what everybody already knows, your contract situation. And there's a lot involved with signing a guy like myself. Hopefully things work out with the Red Sox and worse case, if it's not with them, it will be with someone else."

Do the Red Sox owe Ortiz anything?
"Not at all. I think, you sign a contract with the Sox and you're supposed to give them back what they expect from you. But there's a history, and that's why there's players that play for a team a long time, finish their career with the team. When you played for the period of time I have played with the Sox, you must be doing something right. It's not like you're going to stick with a team without giving them what they expect from you, and I know they feel that way about myself. I'm not going to tell you that they ain't, but we're talking and, like I say to my fans in New England: (looks into camera) Hopefully things work out, I love you guys, and I would like to finish my career as a Red Sox, but it's not on me anymore,"

On playing for new manager Bobby Valentine:
"I'm fine with anybody. I would play for you if you were the manager. Because in my case, I know what I need to do. It's not like I need anybody babysitting me or telling me what to do. Sometimes you do things wrong that you need to be reminded to correct them, that's human nature, but other than that . . . I know my package. I know what I need to bring to the field to play the game. And once the game starts, you got to be ready to go out there and beat up the opposition. I already know that, I think playing for Valentine I'm gonna be good, if playing for Terry Francona or somebody else."

On what his charity golf tournament means to him:
"It means a lot. When it comes to helping children, giving them health care, it's something I'm 100 percent down with. We've successfully been able to give back to the kids, thank God, and we've been able to get help to a lot of kids that really need it . . . When I saw the huge list they have of kids waiting to get surgery, I was like, 'I don't know how to start'. But once we created the foundation, its been unbelievable."

On where his giving spirit comes from:
"I got it from my family and background. It's the way your family raises you. I come from a family that didn't have a lot, but the little things we had we shared. My parents always used to make emphasize on being open to give back. That's part of my nature."

Drellich: Injuries for Betts, Pedroia, Nunez, unnerving in final week

Drellich: Injuries for Betts, Pedroia, Nunez, unnerving in final week

BOSTON — Even before Mookie Betts wrist flared up and Eduardo Nunez re-aggravated his knee Monday, the Red Sox’ health situation looked tenuous heading into the final week of the regular season. Particularly when it came to position players. Dustin Pedroia was out of the lineup Monday after a 1-for-26 road trip.

Now the scene turns scary. Consider that every other American League team that has clinched a postseason spot (or in the case of the Twins, is expected to) is one of the majors’ top five teams in runs scored per game: the Astros, Yankees, Indians and Twins. The Sox are 10th. 

The Sox lineup lacks firepower to begin with. Losing any more at this time of year is a recipe for a rough October.

"It sucks. It sucks," Nunez said. "Especially this time of year when it's close to the playoffs. It sucks."

The regular-season results show the Sox have adapted well overall when guys like Pedroia and Nunez have missed time. But that’s the regular season, and adding Betts to the mix is just disquieting.

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Nunez on Monday returned to the lineup for the first time in 16 days. Now he isn’t expected back until during the Astros series, his right knee injury re-aggravated

But there’s room for good news yet. Betts is to get his left wrist examined Tuesday. A positive prognosis there, and there should be a sense of a crisis averted. On Monday night, he expected to be fine, but he also didn't know what was going on. 

Farrell before the game made clear Nunez wasn’t exactly full go yet.

“[His return is] quicker than what it possibly could have been. You’re talking about a ligament damage to the PCL [posterior cruciate ligament] and I know it’s less severe than an ACL/MCL, but still it’s about pain tolerance,” Farrell said. “It’s about managing it. His body has to recondition to take care of that. His muscles have to respond in a different way. … If he feels a little bit of a zinger, that’s going to go away. He’s not putting himself at further risk.”

Farrell said after the game the feeling is Nunez didn’t do any new damage, but nonetheless, it’s easy to think now the Sox should have waited longer

Meanwhile, Pedroia’s been managing a left knee injury all season and didn’t play.

“When the knee starts to talk back to him a little bit, we’ve all got to listen to it and give him a down day,” Farrell said. “I would expect him to be back on the  field tomorrow.”

Farrell thought it reasonable to connect the knee to Pedroia’s recent poor performance hitting wise.

All year, resiliency has been a buzzword for Sox because of their propensity for late-inning comebacks. Sunday’s eighth-inning rally against the Reds was the latest example, leading to the Sox’ 42nd come-from-behind win. 

How they’ve dealt with a variety of health situations adds another layer to their reputation for handling adversity. Per spotrac.com, the Sox have had the fifth most disabled list days this season, 1,601. 

The Indians were doubted going into last year’s postseason because of health situations with their pitching. They did pretty well. But it’d also be foolish to minimize the importance of injuries to Pedroia, Nunez and Betts, and how they look heading into October.

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Mookie Betts to get left wrist examined Tuesday

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Mookie Betts to get left wrist examined Tuesday

BOSTON — First Mookie Betts right hand was bothering him. Now his left wrist is acting up to the point he was pulled from Monday's 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays in the eighth inning and is headed for an exam to find out what's going on Monday.

"I’m not really that concerned. I think I’m  going to be fine," Betts said. "Just a couple days ago. I just took a swing and felt it. It’s just been kind of painful for swings, but that’s just the part of the season."

Betts felt it again on a swing Monday.

Betts, who's always a calm guy, didn't seem to be particularly worried. But when he was asked to describe the sensation, it sounded far from pleasant.

"Just like a sharp pain," Betts said. "I can’t really move my hand for a little bit, but I think, again, I don’t really know what’s going on. We’ll find out tomorrow."

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