Rangers show interest in David Ortiz
While the Boston Red Sox have made their intentions of holding onto David Ortiz well known, another team has shown serious interest in the designated hitter.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Texas Rangers would consider using Ortiz as a lefty replacement for Josh Hamilton, who — like Ortiz — is a free agent this offseason.
While the Sox are considered the favorites for re-signing Ortiz, it is likely that the interest from the Rangers, as well as other clubs, could increase Ortiz’s leverage when the Sox make him an offer. As it stands, Ortiz will likely receive an offer for a two-year contract.
New teams can begin signing free agents Friday night at midnight when the market opens.
With their interest in Ortiz, the Rangers appear to be showing a desire to change the team’s clubhouse demeanor.
“The Rangers’ interest, meanwhile, signals a willingness by the team to make significant changes this offseason, particularly if Hamilton departs,” Rosenthal wrote. “The addition of Ortiz, or a free agent of similar standing, such as outfielder Torii Hunter, would fundamentally change the Rangers’ clubhouse, giving it more of a boisterous edge.”
Furthermore, if the Rangers do not sign Hamilton, the team will need to find a replacement for his power at the plate.
Although Ortiz appeared in just one game after July 16 this season because of an Achilles strain, he had a 1.026 OPS in the first 89 games, which would have been his highest OPS since 2007.
Meanwhile, Michael Young, who had the most at-bats out of any of the Rangers’ DHs last season, finished the season with a .682 OPS, the 15th lowest in the American League.
The Sox have made it clear that they would like to hold on to Ortiz, and likewise, Ortiz has said that he hopes to stay in Boston.
“Something will get done,” Ortiz recently said to the Boston Globe. “I feel good about it.”