3 Reasons Not to Extend Big Papi's Contract

Eric D. Schabell
Contributing Writer

Yesterday Michael Silverman wrote an emotional plea to the Red Sox management arguing that David Ortiz should have his contract extended.

David Ortiz is currently on a two year deal with the last year coming up in the 2014 season.

I get the feeling he thinks they should open it up to offer him something like three years starting with the 2014 season.

He writes it like a fan coming off a World Series high, which we all are, but when the dust settles the Red Sox front office will sort this out without the emotions.

In the article he outlines the reasons validating spending money now on a long term contract for a 38 year old DH.

Reasons to extend David Ortiz
  • It is an emotional high, based on him winning his third World Series for the Red Sox, that validates spending more on this DH.
  • David Ortiz is the defacto leader of the Red Sox.
  • The numbers he put up this year make it obvious there is no decline in David Ortiz's production as he has gotten older.
  • He is the 2013 World Series MVP.
While this is all fine and dandy, there are a few reasons not to extend David Ortiz and let him serve out the final year of his contract.

Reasons not to extend David Ortiz
  1. David Ortiz wants to stay and finish his career in Boston, you can come to terms after the 2014 season, rest assured.
  2. He is under contract this coming season, make sure he continues to produce for you before you invest. Know that you might pay more later, but then you are paying for continued production.
  3. Any injury at this stage in David Ortiz's career, after 17 seasons in MLB, will tend to take significant amounts of time to heal. It was well illustrated with his Achilles issues the last two seasons. He has not played 150 games or more in the last four seasons.
There is no doubt that Big Papi is loved, cherished, and adored by the fan base. He is well liked and respected in the clubhouse, but baseball is a business and is about return on investment.

That all being said, there is a middle road.

The Red Sox could break out a new offer for David Ortiz that is for three more years, but make it heavily incentive based. It could look something like the Mike Napoli solution this year, but with a bit of a longer service term. This would mitigate the risk factor of an aging DH, possible injuries (Achilles), and eventual non-production.

What do you think?

Do the Red Sox open it up and nail him down for the coming three or four years?

Do the Red Sox play it more suave and break it open with a three year deal with a smaller base salary and incentives to reach the players salary goals?

Post a comment or via twitter @ericschabell with your thoughts.

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