Friday, February 21, 2014
Lucchino: Ortiz extension a priority
By Joe McDonald
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said Friday that signing veteran designated hitter David Ortiz to a contract extension is a priority for the club this spring.
Ortiz, his agent, Fern Cuza, and the Red Sox met Thursday to discuss possible terms of an extension, and Lucchino said those conversations will continue in hopes of finding a resolution.
“Obviously, we’re not going to talk about the negotiations in any public way, but we did have a chance to see David [Thursday] and have a conversation with him. But other than that we’re going to give it the priority it deserves.”
Ortiz is seeking a one-year extension worth $15 million. His current two-year, $30-million contract expires after the 2014 season. Red Sox owner John Henry, general manager Ben Cherington and Lucchino all said this week that they would like to come to an agreement soon with Ortiz.
“We want it to happen. We want him to be a guy who, essentially came in with us even though it was 2003, our second year, and stayed with us for the rest of his career,” Lucchino said. “I think it’s a great thing. I know it’s a great thing for us. I think it’s a great thing for David and it would be a great thing for baseball and Red Sox fans. He feels connected. He’s committed. He’s certainly one of the most important faces in baseball, as well as for the franchise, so we’re eager to resolve something if it can be done.”
Ortiz has also said in the past that if the Red Sox don’t allow him to finish his career in Boston, then he would sign elsewhere in order to keep playing.
“I can envision anything, yeah,” Lucchino said. “It’s not impossible, but it’s not something I’ve thought about until the question was posed.”