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David Ortiz: Contract not a factor in return to Red Sox roster

04.18.13 at 8:55 pm ET
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PAWTUCKET, R.I. –Red Sox DH David Ortiz believes that, after launching a homer to right field in the sixth game of a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket, he’s ready to rejoin the Boston lineup and help the big league team. The 37-year-old said that he expects to be in the Red Sox lineup on Friday night, when his teammates return to Boston to open a 10-game homestand.

The timing of Ortiz’s anticipate activation is intriguing given the incentive structure of his contract. His two-year, $26 million deal includes a guarantee of $11 million in 2014 that can increase to $15 million based on how much time he misses this season related to the right Achilles injury that left him unable to play over the final two-plus months of last year. If he is on the DL for 21-40 days this year related to the Achilles, he would make $13 million next year; if he’s on the DL for 41 or more days related to the Achilles, his earnings would top out at $11 million.

Thursday marked the slugger’s 19th day on the DL this year; Saturday would be his 21st day on the shelf, meaning that if he’s not activated in the next two days, he’d lose $2 million in potential earnings for next year. Ortiz said he’s aware of the financial clause in his contract, but insisted that money has nothing to do with his declaration of his readiness to return on Friday.

“I just found out about [the contract clause] a couple of days ago. That’s not the thing I’m really thinking about right now,” Ortiz told WEEI.com. “I want to go back and I want to play, but if I wasn’t ready right now, then I wasn’t ready. That was going to be it. If I would be limping or hurting still, it is what it is. But I’m going back now because I feel ready and I want to be playing for my ball club.”

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