MLB Free Agency: David Ortiz to the National League?


It’s only early July, but it’s never too early to start looking at the class of 2013 free agents.  David Ortiz is one

of the headliners of that class.  He is on a one-year deal with the Boston Red Sox.  He was a free agent last year looking for a multi-year contract, but he couldn’t find it.  He returned to Boston for $14.58 million.

According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Ortiz said he could play first in the National League.  Ortiz was limited in his options when looking for a multi-year contract last offseason because he was essentially only available to American League teams.  However, at 36 years old, Ortiz feels he could play first well enough to garner attention from a National League club.

"“Man, the way I feel this year,” the Red Sox slugger said, “I feel like I can go play first base in the National League.”"

Ortiz hasn’t played more than 10 games since 2004.  He hasn’t played more than half his time at first since 2003.  While Ortiz is no Gold Glover at first, he has been worth -4 DRS (defensive runs saved).  Many starters in the National League are worth less than that.  However, Ortiz is older, slower, and more injury-prone than he was in 2003 or 2004 .  The idea of him getting a multi-year contract because he can play first – or so he thinks – is hard to imagine.

On the plus side, Ortiz is still incredibly productive at the plate.  Last year, he hit .309/.398/.554 with 29 home runs.  So far this season, Ortiz is hitting .302/.391/.607 with 22 home runs.  He’s on pace to hit the more home runs than he hit in any season in the last five years.

David Ortiz dropped 50 pounds since December and says he is feeling great.  Because of this, it’s not out of the question that Ortiz goes to a National League club.  However, a multi-year deal is a stretch.

For more on the Red Sox, check out BoSox Injection.