A source close to the negotiations said Friday that progress has been made in talks between free agent David Ortiz and the Red Sox, but a deal still hasn't been reached.
Ortiz and the club are reportedly in agreement on the length of a contract -- two years -- but the salary remains an issue. The Red Sox have until 5 p.m. to make a qualifying offer to Ortiz, and until midnight to sign him before he's able to negotiate with other teams.
A qualifying offer is based on the average salary of the highest-paid 125 players in the game. That figure this season is expected to be around $13.3 million.
If Boston and Ortiz can't come to an agreement before midnight and he hasn't accepted the qualifying offer (he has until Nov. 9 to accept), then he will become a free agent.
"We're working on it and we've been talking to David since the end of the season," Cherington said during an interview Thursday night on Boston sports radio WEEI. "It's been a good conversation and everyone knows that we'd like to keep him. I think there's mutual interest. We've had a lot of talks and we've made up some ground in some areas, but we still have some work to do. We'll keep working on it.
"If we get past tomorrow night, we'll continue to work on it. We remain hopeful we'll keep him in a Red Sox uniform next year."