One more year for Ortiz
David Ortiz, the Boston Red Sox slugger who put up some of the best numbers since the prime of his career last season at the age of 39, will retire after the 2016 season, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports.
Big Papi, who turns 40 on Wednesday, has a contract guaranteed for the season, so his return was essentially a given — but retirement hasn’t been far from his thoughts. In September, he spoke about the approaching end of his career with WEEI’s Rob Bradford.
“At some point it’s going to happen. When? I don’t know. But that’s everybody in general,” he said (via NESN). “As you get older, your body breaks down easier than when you were younger. I’m fortunate because I’m almost 40 and I’m doing things normally. You get to this stage, you have to go day by day. You can’t promise people anything three years from now.
“I’m old enough to understand things. But during the struggles, it takes a lot out of you. Life continues. Mentally, I love this game so being responsible is a good thing, but it’s a bad thing, too. I would tell this to people and they would be like, ‘What?’ They have no idea. When I struggle, I can’t sleep. Everything is not enjoyable because of that. When I say that to people they say, ‘You have a wonderful career. You’ve been playing this game forever.’ Yeah, but I play the game day by day. I don’t play the game based on what I did already. I play the game based on what I want to do.”
Ortiz hit 35 home runs last season for the sixth time in his major league career and topped 100 RBIs for the ninth time. (The Washington Post)
Giants sign Crawford • Fresh off his Gold Glove award last week, San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford has signed a new $75 million, six-year contract through the 2021 season.
The team announced the deal Tuesday. Crawford’s new contract covers his two remaining years of arbitration and four years of free agency.
A reliable glove in the middle of the infield, Crawford has shown his range at the position as well as growth on defense and at the plate. The 28-year-old Crawford, who grew up in the Bay Area rooting for the Giants, batted .256 with 21 homers and 84 RBIs.
He has played at least 143 games in each of his last four seasons after making his major league debut in late May 2011. Crawford was a key member of the Giants’ 2012 and ‘14 World Series-winning clubs. (AP)
Angels sign Pennington • Veteran infielder Cliff Pennington became the first free agent to switch teams this offseason when the Los Angeles Angels signed him to a two-year, $3.75 million deal.
Pennington began last season with Arizona and moved to Toronto in a trade in August. The switch-hitting utilityman batted .210 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 105 total games, making multiple starts at five positions.
Pennington also became the first full-time position player to pitch in a postseason game during the AL championship series.
He spent his first five big-league seasons with Oakland before moving to Arizona in 2013.
Pennington will provide depth at the middle infield positions for the Angels, who traded longtime starting shortstop Erick Aybar to Atlanta last week for shortstop Andrelton Simmons. (AP)
Mets pitchers win DiMaggio awards • Mets pitchers Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are the winners of the Joe DiMaggio Toast of the Town award in a vote by the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
The quartet will receive the honor at the chapter’s annual dinner Jan. 23.
Mets manager Terry Collins was voted the Ben Epstein/Dan Castellano Good Guy award, and Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson was picked for the New York Player of the Year award. (AP)