John Henry: ‘It’s conceivable’ that Red Sox could extend David Ortiz this spring
|02.19.14 at 3:07 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Shortly after Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz reiterated his desire for a one-year contract extension for the 2015 season, Red Sox principal owner John Henry suggested that the team would be open to exploring just that. At a time when Ortiz, the team’s owners, front office members and Ortiz’s agent are all in Fort Myers, Henry said that it was worth discussing whether common ground could be found in the pursuit of a goal that is shared by the Red Sox and Ortiz — chiefly, the conclusion of Ortiz’s historic career as a member of the franchise with whom he is entering his 12th season.
“It’s conceivable. It’s something that we’ll talk between. We’ll definitely meet with him,” said Henry. “He’s meant so much to this franchise, to New England for so long now. He’s helped carry us to three world championships. I know where he’s coming from. He wants to finish his career here. We should try to make that happen.”
That said, just because there’s a shared interest in working out a deal doesn’t mean that one will get done during the spring. Still, the two sides should get a sense in the very near future of where they stand in talks.
“I don’t know that it will get done, but I think it’s good to have the conversation at the beginning of spring training,” said Henry. “We’re all here, or we’ll all be here by tomorrow at least. The sooner it’s resolved one way or another, the better it is for everyone.”
Henry noted that even if a deal isn’t done in the spring, the two sides could “absolutely” work one out and keep him in uniform for the duration of his career after the season. Still, he said that the matter is one that the Sox “should listen to and consider” at this stage as well. Henry also said that it was “certainly great to hear” that Jon Lester is willing to take a hometown discount to remain with the Red Sox beyond 2014 rather than pursuing free agency, but said that questions of re-signing both Lester and Ortiz were best addressed to GM Ben Cherington. Still, asked if he viewed the two players as cornerstones, Henry left no doubt.
“They certainly are,” he said.
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