The Texas Rangers may be forced to find a new power source in the middle of their order this off-season and, according to Ken Rosenthal, longtime Red Sox DH David Ortiz is a guy they’ve expressed serious interest in.
Ortiz is still negotiating a potential contract to stay in Boston, but as late as Thursday, there was some serious doubt whether that deal could be completed before the exclusive window runs out on Saturday morning. The deal would be for something in the neighborhood of $25 million over two years and the two sides are working toward getting that deal done. Certainly, the Rangers’ interest makes this negotiation a bit more urgent for Red Sox GM Ben Cherington. Ortiz was limited to just 383 plate appearances in 2012, but did some impressive work by posting 23 homers and an OPS of 1.026.
For the Rangers’ part, Ortiz would serve to replace much of the offensive production should they wind up losing Josh Hamilton to free agency, and I think Texas is more than prepared to watch Hamilton walk away. On the chance they do retain Hamilton, Ortiz still makes a ton of sense for Texas.
Michael Young served as the club’s primary DH last season and posted the worst year of his career in doing so. Couple Young’s lack of production with the possibility of losing Hamilton (not to mention fellow free agent Mike Napoli) and the Rangers could be considered to have a fairly significant need for another hitter. If they were to land Ortiz, Young would be limited to utility work only, which likely wouldn’t sit well with the 13-year veteran. Young, 36, has one year left on his contract, which will pay him $16 million.