SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz wants to avoid an arbitration hearing and get a multiyear deal, but has left it up "to the agents and the team to deal with it" while he concentrates on getting ready for spring training.
Ortiz, who took time out Saturday to speak to the top 50 16-year-old prospects from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela playing in an MLB-sponsored showcase series, said that he would still rather have a multiyear deal, but as far as seeing a ray of hope of getting it, he simply said: "not yet."
"Im just working hard and working out to get ready for the spring. I really would like to get this over with so that we dont have to go in front of the judge and I can stop having to talk about this," Ortiz said.
Ortiz, who at age 36 stayed healthy all of 2011 and hit .309 with 29 homers and 96 RBIs in what was a very tumultuous season in Boston, was very vocal at the end of the season about his wanting to get a multiyear deal and even flirted with testing the free-agent market, telling some outlets that he wouldnt mind playing for the New York Yankees.
It was reported that Boston had offered Ortiz, who made $12.3 million in 2011, a two-year deal worth $18 million, which was quickly rejected by Bostons designated hitter.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told ESPNBostons Gordon Edes in December that management wants to keep Ortiz in Boston.
"If there's a way to make it work, we'd like to have him on the team moving forward and potentially have him finish his career with the Red Sox. We've had good dialogue, and I think there's a good understanding of our respective positions and a lot of mutual respect," Cherington said.
The Red Sox ultimately offered him arbitration last season and Ortiz waited until the last minute to announce that he would take the arbitration offer.
As far as next season is concerned, Ortiz said that no matter what happens in arbitration, "I want to have a better year, and Im working to have a better year."
Javier Maymi is a reporter for ESPNdeportes.com.