NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- On the off chance that David Ortiz is seriously thinking about unretiring -- and nobody with the Boston Red Sox thinks he's serious -- he wouldn't be eligible to play again until early June.
Ortiz took to Instagram on Tuesday night after the Red Sox traded for Chris Sale, writing:
Naturally, Ortiz's post sparked wishful speculation among Red Sox fans that the addition of Sale to a starting rotation that already includes ace lefty David Price and reigning Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello might compel Ortiz to return for one more season and a shot at a fourth World Series ring.
But the Red Sox aren't holding their breath.
"I know David well enough, and I know that if he really had sincere interest, that he would call," president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Wednesday at the winter meetings. "It's just like when I walked into the [Fenway Park] clubhouse [last month] and he's working out and I say, 'Hey, you could play now in the shape you're in,' and he says, 'Oh, no, no, no.'"
Because Ortiz filed his retirement paperwork last month, Dombrowski noted that Major League Baseball rules stipulate he must remain on the "voluntary retired list" for the first 60 days of next season.
At his charity golf tournament last week in the Dominican Republic, Ortiz was asked whether he would consider coming out of retirement if the Red Sox offered him a one-year contract for crazy money -- say, $25 million.
"No, not really, because I made myself clear," Ortiz said. "It's not about the money. It's how you feel. I'm old, man."
Ortiz has been hampered for years by pain in his feet and ankles. Although he said the inflammation has diminished since the Red Sox were swept out of the playoffs two months ago, he's certain it would return if he resumed running and training for another season. Ortiz won't even consider playing for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic in March.
"Everything it takes to get prepared to play a season is when things get complicated," Ortiz said. "I'm done with it, man."
And one Instagram post won't make the Red Sox think otherwise.
"I wouldn't want to reach out to him," Dombrowski said. "I wouldn't want to keep bothering him."