The structure of David Ortiz's contract

March 24, 2014 - 9:55 am

The Red Sox announced on Sunday night that David Ortiz's one-year, $16 million contract extension for 2015 includes both a team/vesting option for 2016 and a team option for 2017. Here's how the 2016 option works: It starts as a $10 million team option for the 2016 season. If Ortiz reaches 425 plate appearances, the option would vest and become guaranteed at $11 million. After 425 plate appearances, Ortiz has a number of bonuses to reflect the playing time with a maximum earnings potential of $16 million at 600 plate appearances. Here is how the bonuses are structured: 425 plate appearances - $11 million 475 plate appearances -  $12 million 525 plate appearances - $13 million 550 plate appearances - $14million 575 plate appearances - $15 million 600 plate appearances - $16 million The 2017 option is a straight team option that likewise starts at $10 million. The team option increases starting at 425 plate appearances (to the same $11 million figure) up to the potential for $16 million if Ortiz has as many as 600 plate appearances), but there is no vesting clause that would guarantee the 2017 salary based on plate appearances. The team/vesting option for 2016 represents a form of risk-sharing meant to ensure that the designated hitter's salary beyond this season is tied to his health and productivity. Just as Ortiz and the Sox structured his current two-year deal in a fashion meant to ensure he was fairly compensated if healthy -- the two-year, $26 million contract featured a $15 million salary for 2013 and $11 million salary for 2014, with the latter figure increasing to $15 million because Ortiz spent fewer than 20 days on the DL in 2013 -- so does the new contract reward Ortiz if he remains a Sox lineup linchpin. "€œWe feel great that this virtually guarantees that David will finish his career with the Red Sox," GM Ben Cherington told reporters. "And more importantly ... we feel great that it means that David's going ot be in the middle of our lineup for longer. And that's really important to us."