BOSTON -- Retired slugger David Ortiz is coming back to work in a multifaceted role that should keep him with the Red Sox for life.The team announced on Wednesday that a unique and unprecedented agreement with the 10-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion has been agreed upon, and Ortiz
BOSTON -- Retired slugger David Ortiz is coming back to work in a multifaceted role that should keep him with the Red Sox for life.
The team announced on Wednesday that a unique and unprecedented agreement with the 10-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion has been agreed upon, and Ortiz will act as a mentor for current players, serve as a recruiter for free agents and make special appearances for the club, among other roles.
In a news release to announce the move, it was noted that the arrangement should link Ortiz with the Red Sox organization "forever."
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"I'm happy to be able to help the Red Sox organization I love in any way I can," Ortiz said. "Whether that's offering advice to a young player, helping convince a free agent that there's no better city to play in than Boston, or representing the club in the community and with its partners, it's great to be part of the Red Sox organization. It feels like I never left."
Ortiz, 41, retired after last season and is widely considered the greatest designated hitter of all time. He leads all DHs in home runs (485), RBIs (1,569) and hits (2,191). He spent 14 of his 20 seasons in Boston.
After keeping a low profile in his first season away from the game and the team he loves, Ortiz is ready to get involved again.
"His place in this organization speaks for itself. Any time players have had that kind of success and what he's meant to the city, the organization, to keep him around, to keep him involved, much like Pedro [Martinez], much like [Jason Varitek], there's a lot to be gained from their experiences," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He is a big personality and a big presence when he is involved in an event or project, whatever it might be. Nothing but positives in terms of him staying connected to the Red Sox."
Though Ortiz wasn't with the Red Sox in an official capacity this season before Wednesday, he was never more than a phone call away.
"There's been a couple times I've reached out to him this year on some things," said Farrell. "As there has been [contact] with Tek and Pedro. You'd be foolish not to tap into their experience and include them when you see their ability or see an opportunity for them to make an impact. So I'm glad he's going to be here and hope to include him in some player aspects as we go forward."
"For over a decade and a half, we have gotten to know what kind of man David is both on and off the field," Red Sox principal owner John Henry said in a news release. "His skill and success on the diamond are rivaled only by his spirit, compassion and big heart. I cannot think of a better representative for our organization. I'm happy we can now say officially what we have long known, David is family."
The Red Sox retired Ortiz's No. 34 in June, making him the 11th person to have his number retired by the franchise. This agreement further cements his legacy in Boston.
"For 14 seasons, David was an instrumental part of this club's victories and achievements," said Red Sox chairman Tom Werner. "He has delivered for us in every scenario, even the ones that seemed dire and hopeless -- he never let us down. Like David himself, this agreement is unique and the first time we have made a commitment of this kind or this length to a player, retired or active. I am delighted we have a lasting partnership with him; one that brings to us the wisdom, experience and character that has lifted this club time and again."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.