Ortiz ranked second on the team in homers with 23, and he played in just 90 games. Jarrod Saltalamacchia led the Sox with 25 homers and Cody Ross was the only other player with more than 20 (he had 22). The Sox lost arguably their most productive bat in dealing Adrian Gonzalez last season and have yet to replace him with a comparable hitter.
Notably, the Red Sox need to add at least one other corner outfielder and a first baseman either though free-agency or trade.
“It’s not a surprise for anyone that follows the Red Sox that we need some thunder in that lineup,” Ortiz said Thursday night on Boston sports radio WEEI’s “Hot Stove Show”. “The problem is that there isn’t too many out there. That’s one thing. I’m pretty sure everybody needs to be a little patient. We have the winter meetings right now coming up and a lot of decisions get made right after the winter meetings, so hopefully they come out with some decisions."
The Sox struck a deal with corner outfielder Jonny Gomes, who had 18 homers and an .868 OPS as a part-time player in Oakland last season. He projects to play a platoon role with the Red Sox as well.
Ortiz also made a case on WEEI for the team bringing back Ross, something team president Larry Lucchino acknowledged was still a priority.
“I think Cody deserves an opportunity to come back,” Ortiz said. “He played in the toughest time we were going through and he handled himself pretty good. He did a great job. He’s a great teammate. He’s a great, great teammate and he’s a guy that cares. Me, as a player, that’s what matters to me, when you have guys that care about winning, care about coming in every day and trying to make a difference. That’s the type of player I like to have around and that’s the type of player this organization needs. Cody did all of that throughout the year.”
Still, the pickings are slim in the power department outside of the team signing power-hitting outfielder Josh Hamilton, who will probably command a deal that’s outside of the Sox’s comfort zone. The Sox could go after Adam LaRoche, who hit 33 homers, drove in 100 runs and had an .853 OPS for the Nationals last season.
Ortiz also told WEEI he recently met with Red Sox team doctors about the Achillies injury that ended his season and said his recovery was “pretty much ahead of the plan that they had.”
"I'm not fully recovered,” Ortiz said. “They say now with the new things that I'm going to be doing I'm probably going to get sore until I get used to it because I haven't been doing any running or any agility for the past three or four months. But they say that I'm looking pretty good."