David Ortiz

David Ortiz closing in on $11 million 2016 vesting option: 'I earned it'

August 06, 2015 - 6:01 am

After 10 more plate appearances, David Ortiz will guarantee himself another season in a Red Sox uniform. While it it's unlikely the Red Sox wouldn't pick up his $10 million team option, he's now just 10 plate appearances shy of the 425 needed to guarantee his $11 million vesting option for 2016. He could hit escalators that push next year's salary to $16 million if he gets up to 600 plate appearances. "I earned it," he said to WEEI.com's John Tomase Wednesday. "That's why I'm playing next year. Because I earned it." "That's the way we pretty much agreed to do things," he said of Red Sox management. "You know me, I get greedy when it comes down to performance. I want to put up numbers. I agreed to do it that way, because if I don't put up numbers, what would be the reason to continue playing?" On June 9, Ortiz was batting just .219 with six home runs. But, he's straightened things out and is now back to his career norm numbers. Going into play Thursday he's batting .244 with 21 home runs and 60 RBIs. "You know how it is with myself," Ortiz said. "Whenever I have a slow start, or things aren't going my way, people start criticizing and saying things. But I guess that's how it's going to be. I can put up with that. "I know what I'm capable of doing. Could we end up a different way? People always think when you talk about contracts you're getting greedy about it, but I'm the guy that's always carried this ballclub and put up numbers, you know what I'm saying? "I work hard. I get ready. Pitchers, they know that my jersey says 'Ortiz' on my back. People need to sit down before they start talking and just watch the game a little more closely. Pitchers don't put them on a tee for me. I've got to go get it." Ortiz will turn 40 in November and he doesn't see the end of the road for him coming any time soon. "I'm confident in myself, because I have put a lot of dedication into it," Ortiz said. "I try to stay in good shape. It's all up in your mind. That's what I say. If you take care of yourself and do what you have to do, you can play at the age of 50. Just ask Julio Franco."