Rangers to Bid on Ortiz in Free Agency

Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE

The David Ortiz auction has begun early.

According to Ken rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Texas Rangers are showing interest in the Boston Red Sox slugger in their attempts to replace Josh Hamilton, who might also be headed to free agency.  Though, the Red Sox have not bowed out of efforts into re-signing their designated hitter to a possible two-year deal in the days to come.

Boston has until Friday at midnight to make a deal with Ortiz, otherwise Big Papi will land in free agency.  Which is good news for all those interested in a power slugger that puts up big numbers on a night to night basis.

Ortiz suffered a small setback in his 2012 season after suffering an injury to his Achilles that kept him out of almost the entire second half of the season, which may keep teams away.  Still, when Ortiz was in the lineup, he produced with the best of them.  The 36-year-old DH averaged .318 with 23 home runs in 90 games.  And he’s by no means slowing down.  His 1.026 OPS ranked third-highest in his career, which would have ranked as the league’s best if he had enough qualifying at-bats.

It’s a smart move for the Rangers to pursue Ortiz.  The slugger is one of the most consistent hitters in the game, notching at least 20 homers in the last 10 seasons, six of which he drove in 100+ RBIs.  He’s a sure fire replacement for Hamilton, who’s been of a bit of a wild card in the second half of the season.

Hamilton’s well-documented struggles at the plate have, as he states, stemmed from his recent drug relapse in mid-February of this year.  It even led Texas-hero Nolan Ryan to rip the slugger over the timing of ending his addiction, saying he should have quit during the offseason and not when his at-bats mattered.  Tough love from a major league icon.

Acquiring Ortiz just makes sense for the Rangers.  He’s a big bat that can still reel in some big numbers as a designated hitter in the Arlington ballpark.  They might have to put another year to his contract to pry him out of the hands of the Red Sox, but it’s definitely an investment worth making.

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