- Gordon Edes, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON -- World Series MVP David Ortiz, who turned 38 in November, said in a TV interview that aired Sunday night that he would like to retire as a member of the Red Sox, but said if the club did not offer him another long-term deal, it was "time to move on."
Asked how much longer he expected to play, Ortiz said, "It can be two years, it can be three years, it can be 10 years. You never know."
Ortiz, who has a year left on the two-year extension he signed last winter with Boston, appeared via satellite in an interview Sunday night on Boston CBS4's "Sports Final."
Asked by station sports director Steve Burton if he would like to retire with the Red Sox, for whom he has played the last 11 years, Ortiz said, "Hey, I would like to. I'm having fun. It's been a hell of a ride as long as I've been here.
"But as I always keep on telling people, this is a business. Sometimes you've got to do what's best for you and your family.
"As long as they keep offering me a job and I keep doing what I'm supposed to do and the relationship keeps on building up, I'm going to be there. Hopefully, I won't have to go and wear another uniform."
Burton then asked what would happen if the team didn't offer him another long-term deal.
"Time to move on," he said.
Could he really envision himself in another uniform?
"I haven't seen it but if I have to, I've got no choice, I'm not going to quit. As long as I keep hitting the ball the way I have, I've got to keep on giving it a try."
Ortiz signed a four-year, $52 million contract prior to the 2007 season, with the club picking up his option in 2011 for $12.5 million. The club offered him salary arbitration prior to the 2012 season, and when the sides could not reach agreement on a two-year deal (the club's offer was reported to be for $18 million), Ortiz signed a one-year contract for $14.575 million.
The Red Sox slugger, who chafed at playing for a one-year deal and vowed not to repeat the experience, signed a two-year deal for $26 million last offseason that increased to $30 million after he did not appear on the disabled list for as many as 20 days. Since last season ended, he has expressed his desire in interviews for another extension, but Boston general manager Ben Cherington said the club had not yet entered negotiations and did not seem to consider it a matter of urgency.
Ortiz, who reached the 2,000-hit plateau last season, hit 30 home runs and drove in over 100 runs for the first time since 2010, saved his best work for the postseason. He hit a dramatic grand slam in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers that turned that series around, then hit .688 in the World Series, an average exceeded only by Billy Hatcher of the Reds (.750) in the 1990 Series (minimum seven hits).
Ortiz described 2013 as a "perfect season" to Burton. "The way everything started, the way everything finished, it was like a movie," he said.
Asked how many more years he wanted to play, he said, "I don't know. I have said in a couple of interviews before, I'm feeling good. This is not a career that is forever. As long as I'm having fun like I had, as long as I keep doing what I'm doing and I'm healthy, of course, I'm going to keep on giving it a try."
18hAndrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews