|ESPN.com: Baseball||[Print without images]|
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Ortiz reported to the Boston Red Sox's spring training complex Tuesday, and said a contract extension with the team is not pressing as he enters the final year of his deal.
"There's no hurry with it," the 38-year-old slugger said. "The fact that I want another year is something normal between us players.
"I've said many times and I will continue saying it: Boston is where I want to end my career. The team knows it."
|David Ortiz reiterated Tuesday that "Boston is where I want to end my career."|
Ortiz, who was one of just three major leaguers to hit over .300 in 2013 with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs, told WEEI.com last month that he was hoping to reach an extension with the Red Sox to avoid talks about a potential deal becoming a distraction during the season. He noted that his representatives had mentioned a new contract to the team.
Those comments came on the heels of an interview with Boston CBS4 in which the designated hitter said if the Red Sox did not offer him another long-term deal, it was "time to move on."
That interview resulted in criticism among some in the media who wondered why the team would give a DH in his late 30s a contract extension a year before his deal was up. Ortiz will make $15 million this season and is looking to make a similar number in 2015.
"I don't even know why they're bitching about me talking about contracts," Ortiz told the Boston Herald on Tuesday. "Guys putting up my numbers, they're making $25, $30 million. I'm not asking for that. I'm asking for half of it. And they're still bitching about it? [Expletive] them. I'm tired of hearing them talk [expletive] about me when I talk about my contract. Hey, every time I talk about my contract, I earn it, [expletive]. So don't be giving me that [expletive]."
As for playing beyond 2015, Ortiz wouldn't rule it out. He would be 40 years old on Opening Day, 2016.
"I would not say that 2015 would be my last year," he said. "That depends on God and the opportunity to stay healthy. If I keep doing the same so far in 2015, then I'll keep playing."
Ortiz's agent, Fernando Cuza of SFX Baseball, was at JetBlue Park on Tuesday but downplayed his presence there.
"It's just a routine visit. No business," Cuza told ESPNdeportes.com. "So far we have not started any negotiations, but both Boston and Papi are open to sitting down to talk on the subject at any time in the next few days."
The time could be next weekend, when Boston owners John Henry and Tom Werner are expected at Fort Myers.
Ortiz, the reigning World Series MVP after guiding Boston to its third title in 10 years, looked relaxed, optimistic and in the best physical shape of his career as he joined the Red Sox on Tuesday.
"We are ready to take off, strap in your seat belts," he said. "I'm optimistic of what we can achieve in 2014. We have a great team."
Ortiz said there's no added pressure for the Red Sox as World Series champions.
"The pressure is for the team that is given as a winner and didn't won," he said. "The pressure is stronger with teams marked as favorites who do not end up winning, as happened last year with Toronto, Detroit and the Yankees."
"We already noticed that when you do not pressure yourself and play relaxed, things go better."
Ortiz, who is entering his 12th season, came to camp leaner than ever before.
"Four years ago I decided I needed to have a healthy life, not only to extend my career, but my quality years of life after my retirement," he said.