Replacing Ortiz

The Red Sox are looking this off season for David Ortiz’s replacement at DH. Two things to clear up first. First, we will assume he is retired for good. Obviously rumors can surface but all reality points to he is happily hanging up his cleats, going out on top. Second, is that the Red Sox could get a first baseman and move Hanley Ramirez to DH, but we will assume that will not happen.

davidortiz

Parkerjh at the English language Wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons

So, who are the possible replacements? I will focus on 4 here.

 

Edwin Encarnacion is the obvious place to start. He is David Ortiz’s own pick to replace him. However, this is one time I don’t think the Red Sox will follow his lead. It won’t be for a lack of effort, they were likely in on him but other teams seem to be MORE interested. His consistency over the last 3 plus seasons and his 42 home runs last year makes you think. Not to mention the amount of doubles he would add for peppering that Green Monster would likely increase his value.
Bottom Line: too many other options for Boston.
Joey Votto is the guy I like to fill the spot the most. Red Sox can handle his salary and Cincinnati can use the prospects the Red Sox have, or any prospects for that matter. With the Red Sox offensive they have enough guys that can drive people in that a guy like Votto who is an On-base machine would do amazing things. He walks a lot in Cincinnati, how many more would he get in a good line up? He could even share time at first with Hanley allowing him to DH. This is a perfect fit all around, the on problem is I am not sure Votto is interested in leaving Cincinnati. He talks like there is no chance he moves out of town, however it could be all talk. He is Canadian and they are polite. I think this is the best move, but not likely.
Carlos Beltran is a very real possibility. He will be a short contract with a minimal commitment in the terms of years. Allows room for the prospects to move up as they mature and make the team. Beltran is not over the hill yet, he still hit .295 slugged .513 and popped 29 homers between New York and Texas last year. The pressure of Boston won’t get to him and perhaps the most compelling of all is his post season pedigree. The American League East is wide open this year and if the Sox get in they could use the veteran leadership. Can you imagine an Ortiz replacement that falls flat in the clutch and playoffs? I can’t so Beltran can fit here.
Mike Napoli While I think Beltran is a strong possibility, a Napoli reunion is my prediction. Again he offers a short contract and post season history. He is leaving Francona’s Indians and Tito’s old team has a need. He is a guys that can provide that club house presence that leaves with Ortiz. Napoli likely has some relationships left in Boston and could step right into a leadership role taking Boston to face his former team in the ALCS.
There are many other options out there but this is my prediction what’s yours?
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