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Red Sox Free Agency 2011: David Ortiz Will Accept Salary Arbitration

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has reportedly decided to accept Boston's offer of salary arbitration, a development that would result in Ortiz returning to Boston for the 2012 season.

The 36-year old Sox star batted .309 with 29 homers and 96 RBI last season, his ninth with Boston.

A source told ESPN.com that the Red Sox offered Ortiz a two-year, $18 million deal. But Ortiz wanted a raise on last year's $12.5 million payday and could earn approximately $15 million in salary arbitration, according to the ESPN report.

On Tuesday, general manager Ben Cherington said Ortiz had not agreed to a deal but the Red Sox hoped to retain his services.

"That's been our position all along," Cherington said. "We haven't agreed to anything yet.

"If there's a way to make it work, we'd like to have him on the team moving forward and potentially have him finish his career with the Red Sox. But we haven't reached an agreement on a contract.

"We've had good dialogue, and I think there's a good understanding of our respective positions and a lot of mutual respect. If we don't reach anything by tomorrow, we'll see what his decision is. If we don't and he accepts, then we'll be happy with that outcome."

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