NEW YORK -- If David Ortiz returns to Boston but not as a player, does it count as a comeback?As if the upcoming Red Sox-Yankees series needed any more hype, Ortiz hinted Monday at the possibility of him returning to the Red Sox organization in some role, and his revelation
NEW YORK -- If David Ortiz returns to Boston but not as a player, does it count as a comeback?
As if the upcoming Red Sox-Yankees series needed any more hype, Ortiz hinted Monday at the possibility of him returning to the Red Sox organization in some role, and his revelation has at least one legacy member of Red Sox Nation pretty excited.
Ortiz and the Red Sox are in discussions regarding the former slugger's future role with the team, Ortiz said at a charity event in Manhattan. That prompted Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez to speculate what that exactly could mean going forward.
"Big Papi is working out, and I know he is in baseball shape, and the @RedSox could use a bit of his bat," Martinez tweeted after news of Ortiz's comments spread.
"We've been talking, but right now nothing," Ortiz said of the negotiations. "We're going back and forth. At some point it's going to happen. That organization is what I am. We've been talking."
When asked whether his potential role would be in the front office or the dugout, Ortiz did not reveal details.
"I'll let you know later," he said.
Martinez quickly clarified his comments with another tweet that read: "I did not say David is making a come back, I said David is in baseball shape because he works out, and the team could use a swing or two."
The Red Sox's lineup led the Majors in runs scored thanks in large part to Ortiz last year. This season, the Red Sox rank 11th in runs scored and 29th in home runs.
"The power is going to come," Ortiz said. "I'm happy just being at home, man. I haven't been at home much, but being able to once and a while be around your kids. I've been around the family more. You get to appreciate things better."
Ortiz has hinted before that he'd be interested in taking a role with the team, and team officials have said they'd be open to the possibility.
"I know David expects to have a role going forward," Red Sox chairman Tom Werner told reporters during Spring Training. "We are talking to him frequently, and we expect he will have a role -- which he will principally define."
Ortiz was one of more than 15 players present at the charity event for Yankees pitcher Carsten Sabathia's PitCCh In Foundation -- and the only retired one. He was excited to see and give big hugs to old friends (Sabathia), old teammates (Mookie Betts, Chris Young) and new friends (Aaron Judge). Ortiz also said he missed playing at Yankee Stadium, where the Red Sox and Yankees will begin a big series Tuesday.
But so far he hasn't attended a Red Sox game since retiring at the end of last season, though he does travel to Boston for business and personal reasons.
"I just retired," Ortiz said. "I don't want to be bothering anyone or getting in anyone's way. I want to give the guys some space."
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.