Ortiz 1-on-1: 'I want to stick around'

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Ortiz 1-on-1: 'I want to stick around'

Former Red Sox favorite Jonathan Papelbon bolted for Philadelphia, but the Red Sox still have one high-profile player left on the free agent market.

We're talking about David Ortiz, of course, the Red Sox DH who's has hit .289 with 320 home runs and 1028 RBI over his nine-year career with the Sox.

In an interview with ESPN shortly after the season ended, Ortiz expressed concern over the state of the Sox, and even said that he would consider playing with the Yankees.

Now, he tells CSNNE's Jessica Moran that he wants to remain a member of the Red Sox and hopes that a deal gets done.

"I've been saying for years that I want to stick around," Ortiz said. "Now this is like home to me. I love playing for the fans here, and that is something that is not news for anyone. So hopefully everything goes well."

So just how well is it going? Are the Sox making offers? Are other teams?

"I can't really talk about it. That's not of public news right now," Ortiz answered. "But, like I said . . . it's a situation where, of course, a lot of teams in the American League need players like myself and of course they're going to try to chase me. So hopefully the Red Sox get it done."

The Sox didn't even put an offer in for Papelbon, and he didn't waste any time accepting one from a team that did. Now, they're left without a closer -- a situation that Ortiz finds troublesome.

"It's going to be a little crazy," Ortiz said. "Because when it comes down to the end of the game, we definitely want to have a guy like Pap out there doing his thing."

But that won't be the case anymore. The Sox let Papelbon go, essentially deeming not worth the money or years that any closer should get.

"It's a little frustrating not seeing him in the uniform," Ortiz said. "But what can I say, this is a business and you got to do what you got to do."

"Hopefully the fans don't feel Papelbon betrayed them or anything like that. Of course we want to be part of this organization, but like I say, things happen and we are just employees."

Report: Ainge could prefer George to Butler with Nets pick

Report: Ainge could prefer George to Butler with Nets pick

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game. 

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

LeGarrette Blount knows where he wants to be for 2017. Ever since he re-joined the Patriots in 2014 following a short stay in Pittsburgh, the 250-pound back has been very open about how he wants to play out the rest of his career in New England. 

Those feelings haven't changed, even as he faces free-agency after having recorded the best season of his seven-year career.

"I just want to make sure that I go to this free agency with an open mind, knowing that I definitely want to go back to New England," he told NFL Total Access on Monday. "I love it there. I love the culture. I love the players. I've become close with a lot of the guys. Obviously you know how my running back group is.

"We'll cross that bridge whenever we cross it. On that point, I feel great. I'm in amazing shape. I feel like I could play 100 more years if I have to."

Blount finished 2016 with career-highs in attempts (299) yards (1,161) and touchowns (18). His ability to help the Patriots close games in the fourth quarter was notable throughout the course of the season, and he was among the most effective goal-line backs in the league. His 18 rushing scores are a franchise record.

Toward the end of the season, as Dion Lewis worked his way back into the Patriots offense, Blount had his workload cut into, and his fumble in the Super Bowl was a near-catastrophic moment -- his devastated reaction to which was caught expertly by NFL Films. But a big-picture view of Blount's year would reveal that he  posted the most prodictive "big back" season the Patriots have had in more than a decade.

Blount signed a one-year deal with the Patriots last offseason after seeing his 2015 prematurely ended by way of a hip injury. He turned 30 in December.