David Ortiz: No agreement to wait until end of season to negotiate

Rob Bradford
December 15, 2013 - 7:12 pm

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic '€“ David Ortiz isn'€™t about to wait. On the final day of his celebrity golf tournament on Sunday, Ortiz wanted to make it clear that he and his agent, Fern Cuza, won'€™t be restricted in trying to get an extension done before his current contract runs out at the end of the 2014 season. There had been reports that Ortiz and the Red Sox were under an agreement that restricted the two sides from talking contract prior to his current deal (which runs out at the end of '€™14 and pays him $15 million) expires. '€œWe don'€™t have any agreement that says we have to wait until the end of the season to negotiate,'€ Ortiz told WEEI.com. '€œWhy would I do that? I want to get a deal done.'€ According to Ortiz, Cuza already has started conversations with Ben Cherington. The talks were first revealed by the designated hitter Friday during the media session for his charity event. '€œWe gave them what they wanted. I don'€™t have next year guaranteed, and I think I can play another one. We'€™re working on that,'€ he said. '€œWho knows? As long as I feel good I'€™m going to want to play. I think everybody is in good shape to negotiate another year and move on.'€ When asked if he would want to wait until the end of the season to renegotiate another year, Ortiz said, '€œWhat for? You know what'€™s going to happen if I'€™m healthy and good to go. I just hate the situation where I have to sit down at the end of the year and talk about my following year. Let'€™s do it now. We'€™re world champs right now.'€ Appearing on the Mustard & Johnson show during the Christmas at Fenway event Saturday, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino wouldn'€™t reveal if negotiations had begun between Ortiz and the Sox -- as the DH said they had -- but did touch on how the organization views the 38-year-old'€™s future. '€œWe would like to have him play the rest of his career for the Red Sox,'€ Lucchino said. '€œI think David feels he can hit until he'€™s 50 or 60, but at some point the realities of aging will catch up. I'€™m glad he has a strong interest in signing with the club going forward that will make the negotiating process, whenever it occurs, a little easier.'€ Lucchino also admitted that Ortiz'€™s off-the-field value should be factored into any negotiations. '€œWith certain players it is, absolutely,'€ he said. '€œTheir leadership. How much they'€™ve represented the franchise nobly or well over the course of their career. David has all of those things going for him. He'€™s a leader. He brings a sense of humor and a big heart to the job and to Boston. So, yes, all of those things are factors, particularly when you'€™re talking about someone like David Ortiz or Dustin Pedroia.'€