Scott Lauber reports that the lone major league team north of the border may make a run at Papi:
Coming off an 81-81 season and with money to spend, the Jays “will not rule out” making a serious push for Ortiz, a major league source said yesterday. In fact, he could conceivably be a good fit north of the border.
Ortiz would be a lefty-hitting, middle-of-the-order complement to fellow slugger Jose Bautista, for whom he has come to have great respect over the past few seasons. He also has familiarity with Blue Jays manager John Farrell, the former Red Sox pitching coach whose input is valued greatly by general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
Two factors figure to give the Jays pause, according to the source: “Age and position.” Ortiz will turn 36 next month, and his status as a full-time DH limits any team’s lineup flexibility.
Other than a non-committal sentence from a vague source, this is mostly speculation. But still, it's something to consider. Ortiz will soon file for free agency, and each time that happens the likelihood that he leaves the Red Sox rises.
Another reason he may interest the Jays is that he'd certainly give them a little more national attention. Toronto is stuck firmly as the 4th most interesting team (thanks to the Rays' resurrgence) in its own division, despite having the best hitter in the game the last two years. Many have speculated that with an up-and-coming rotation, Bautista in his prime, and a handful of other improving young players, the Jays may only be a piece or two away from making a Tampa-like run. Perhaps a high-profile figure like Ortiz could be one of those pieces.
I wouldn't be surprised if David leaves, although I didn't think he'd be back this year, given Theo Epstein's comments that Ortiz meant a great deal to ownership. I always took that as a veiled cover-up by Theo -- sort of the same thing John Henry did about Carl Crawford in his interview with Felger and Mazz earlier this month.
This decision will likely be one of the first that tells us something about Ben Cherington. If he stays, it says that either A) ownership is still making the call or B) Cherington doesn't feel the need to distance himself from all the players of this year's collapse. If he goes, it probably refutes those ideas, or speaks to Cherington's faith in Ryan Lavarnway.