Ortiz, 36, asked for a two-year deal after the 2011 season. Instead, the Red Sox offered him arbitration before the two sides agreed to a one-year, $14.575 million deal. The long-time Red Sox slugger described the experience as "humiliating"in an interview with USA Today. He was particularly unhappy about the team's pursuit of other free agents as a priority ahead of him.
"If you go crazy and give contracts to whoever comes along despite not knowing how they're going to do, then you don't give me my due consideration, even though I do my thing every year, (expletive) that. I'm going to be open to anything. My mentality is not going to be, 'I like it here.' It's going to be, 'Bring it to the table, and we'll see what happens.' "
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington defended the team's handling of Ortiz during the offseason:
"We have enormous respect for David, and one of our offseason priorities was keeping him with the Red Sox. We talked about a number of ways to do that, but ultimately David's acceptance of arbitration focused our efforts on a one-year deal. We were glad to reach a settlement with David prior to a hearing.
"David is having a terrific season and has been a leader on and off the field for us. We remain hopeful that David will finish his career with the Red Sox."
Ortiz is the only member of the Red Sox picked to play in the All-Star game this season, and one of the team's few bright spots.