The Red Sox officially announced the signing of designated hitter David Ortiz to a two-year contract on Monday.
“It’s an honor for me to be back,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz and the Red Sox agreed to a new contract on Friday, just hours before he could have shopped his services on the free agent market to any team. Instead Ortiz, who will turn 37 on Nov. 18, will stay in Boston on a two-year deal worth $26 million.
After his introduction at a news conference at Fenway Park, the first question for Ortiz was his reaction to a comment former manager Bobby Valentine made after he was fired. Valentine said Ortiz “decided not to play anymore” after the Red Sox made their blockbuster trade in August.
“You guys already know how important it is to myself to be on the field,” Ortiz said. “I don’t really need to add any more things to it. I think we are right now celebrating a good thing, me being back in the conversation for the next couple years, and we wouldn’t be talking about what we are talking about right now if things were the way our ex-manager said.”
Ortiz was attempting a comeback from an Achilles’ heel injury at the time of the trade. He was eager to leave the past behind.
“It’s time to turn the page and move on,” he said.
Ortiz’s heel is on the mend, he said.
“It’s good. I’m moving forward pretty good,” Ortiz said.
General manager Ben Cherington said keeping Ortiz was a priority for the team. Ortiz became a free agent when the World Series ended after playing 2012 on a one-year, $14.5 million deal.
“This is a very important first step in our offseason,” general manager Ben Cherington said. “We’re thrilled to keep him here, we want David to retire as a Red Sox.”
Ortiz has been with the Red Sox since 2003 and was a member of World Series championship teams in 2004 and 2007. He has a career batting average of .285 with 401 home runs and 1,326 RBIs. He played only 90 games in 2012 because of an Achilles’ heel injury.