If you are one of those Red Sox fans crying over the new 2 year $26 million deal the Sox gave to David Ortiz, stop it. You know better. For an organization that is used to taking financial gambles, this one is definetly worth the risk.
Yes, there are risks. Ortiz will be 37 years old on November 18th (we think?… gotta love those credible dominican birth records. Btw is his name really David Ortiz or Fausto Carmona?). Rarely do MLB sluggers get progressively better after the age of 35 as ESPN’s Gordon Edes does such a good job of documenting.
But as Gordon also points out, take a closer look at Ortiz power slugging numbers over the last few years. They all put him in the top ten sluggers in all of MLB during that time. And the last time I checked the 2013 Red Sox are in desperate need of sluggers. For a lineup that just yesterday was wondering “Where do we hit Carl Crawford?” they have also been stripped of Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis and they face the impending departure of Jacoby Ellsbury too.
While the Red Sox historic salary dump to the Los Angeles Dodgers gives them tremendous payroll flexibility, it also gives them an opportunity to give this organization some new faces. But while we consider who those new faces may be (Will Middlebrooks, Ruby De LaRosa, Jackie Bradley) consider that having David Ortiz around to help this organization make the transition back to contender is not a bad thing. Anyone who has ever met Ortiz , even just once, can attest to the fact that he is a WE guy as opposed to a ME guy despite the handful of times he whines about his contract in public.
The main reason Ortiz is worth a $26 million gamble lies in both the past and the future. In the past the Red Sox have used their wealth of resources to invest in much riskier contracts than Ortiz:
And for the future, with new payroll flexibility, the Red Sox have now given themselves the opportunity to invest wisely. Investing 2 years and $26 million in David Ortiz is a wise move and one worth taking.
Now watch them go give $175 million to Josh Hamilton?