Earlier today, Peter Abrahams of the Boston Globe reported that despite efforts to work out a long term deal, Epstein and Ortiz were not able to come to terms. Instead, the Red Sox will pick up Ortiz's $12.5 option. Here's Abrahams with the the details:
Question on picking up the option and whether a multi-year deal was explored:
“We’re very happy to get this resolved today in a manner that was ultimately acceptable to both parties. David is a player who is very important to our ownership and to our fans and given these feelings, the fact that he’s still very productive and the fact that there was a one-year solution built in to the contract, this seemed like not only the most likely outcome but the one that balanced all the various factors in the most appropriate manner.
"David did express an interest in a multi-year deal to us, as well as publicly. We explored that. But we couldn’t find anything that made as much sense as the one-year commitment. In the end, David understands this outcome, is very much OK with it and in the end is committed to the 2011 Red Sox.”Translation: Ortiz wanted too much money over too many years, and the Red Sox didn't want any part of it.
On Monday, I discussed the three scenarios facing the Red Sox with regards to David Ortiz's contract situation. At the end of my post, I determined that the best option was to decline Ortiz's $12.5M option, and try to work out a deal with a lower annual average salary closer to his true value. If the Red Sox and Ortiz couldn't work out a deal that worked for both parties, they could always turn to the glut of 1B/DH types on the free agent market that would either be cheaper or more productive. I still think this was the smartest option for the Red Sox because it allowed for the most options and the greatest flexibility. Instead, they allowed emotion and nostalgia to cloud their ability to make an objective decision. Luckily for the organization (and their fans), this implications of this decision won't extend beyond 2011.