According to an industry source, the Red Sox extended a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer (the average of the top 125 salaries in baseball in 2012) to David Ortiz that ensured that, if he leaves the team as a free agent, the Sox will get a draft pick as compensation.
Ortiz now has until Nov. 9 to decide whether or not to accept the qualifying offer. However, the provision of a qualifying offer does not preclude the team and the designated hitter from discussing a multi-year contract.
With the Sox making the qualifying offer to Ortiz, the market for the 36-year-old's services could also be impacted, since some teams may harbor reservations about signing him to a multi-year deal while also giving up a top draft pick.
Ortiz was limited to 90 games in 2012 due to a right Achilles injury, but when healthy, he was one of the top hitters in the game, finishing the year with a .318 average, .415 OBP, .611 slugging percentage and 1.026 OPS.
He received a $14.575 million salary in 2012, the result of a settlement between the player and the Sox to avoid an arbitration hearing (after Ortiz accepted the team's offer of salary arbitration). With a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the one-year qualifying offer has replaced the offer or arbitration of a tool by which to retain free agents and/or to ensure draft pick compensation.
The Sox did not make a qualifying offer to any of their other free agents (Cody Ross, Aaron Cook, Scott Podsednik, Daisuke Matsuzaka, James Loney, Vicente Padilla).
For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.
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