Boston's designated hitter said new starter Curt Schilling and
closer Keith Foulke should make the Red Sox favorites for the AL
crown. Schilling joins Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe and Tim Wakefield
to form one of the major's top rotations.
"This team should win," Ortiz said Sunday in San Juan, where
he was playing in an all-star game between the Dominican and Puerto
Rican winter leagues. "Pedro, Curt, Lowe and Wakefield. That's
The Dominican slugger thinks management should keep the rest of
the team intact and not trade shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and
outfielder Manny Ramirez or acquire AL MVP Alex Rodriguez of the
Ortiz said that the major leagues' leading offensive team would
lose about 70 home runs, 200 RBI and 400 hits if they trade
Ramirez and Garciaparra.
"If Manny and Garciaparra are not traded, like it's been
rumored, I think next year things are going to get ugly" for other
teams, Ortiz said.
With the signing of Foulke the Red Sox addressed their main
weakness last season, relief pitching, Ortiz said.
"We were missing a closer," he said. "Now we have one of the
Ortiz was honored Saturday at baseball's winter meetings as the
top designated hitter in the majors last season. He hit .310 with
27 homers and 73 RBI as a DH and .288 with 31 homers and 101 RBI
overall. He was fifth in the AL MVP voting.
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein commended Ortiz on his
award. Epstein also said he began talks on Saturday with Ortiz's
agent on a multiyear contract.
"That's what I'm looking for,'' Ortiz said. "Then I can just
play ball and be relaxed.''