According to a source close to negotiations, the sides are "very close" on a two-year deal. The amount of the contract is still being discussed.
If the sides can't come to an agreement before midnight tonight, Ortiz is free to negotiate with other teams. There will undoubtedly be interest in the veteran slugger. He has until Nov. 9 to accept the qualifying offer, which is less than the $14.58 million he earned in 2012. If Ortiz signs with another team, the qualifying offer ensures the Red Sox will receive a draft pick as compensation.
Ortiz turns 37 on Nov. 18, and the eight-time All-Star was on pace for a productive 2012 before he suffered a right Achilles strain on July 16 and was limited to only one more game the rest of the season. He missed 71 of the final 72 games and finished with a .318 average, including 23 home runs and 60 RBIs in 90 games.
"David is someone who we feel strongly about bringing back, and we're trying to figure out a way to do that and we hope that happens," Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said earlier this week.