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David Ortiz Re-Signs With


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Associated Press


BOSTON -- Pedro Martinez talked David Ortiz into staying with Boston. Now the Red Sox can only hope the three-time Cy Young winner follows his own advice.


Martinez helped convince Ortiz to sign a $12.5 million, two-year contract extension on Friday. The first baseman-designated hitter said he didn't want to leave the Boston clubhouse and the fans who have made him a cult hero.


The deal also includes a club option for the 2007 season.


"He told me, 'The best move you can make is to sign with Boston, stay around here,"' Ortiz said. "Right now it's not all about the money. ... You don't get all your happiness from money. You get your happiness from the guys around you."


But one of those guys is Martinez, a good friend who is one of four key Red Sox players eligible for free agency after the year along with shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, catcher Jason Varitek and pitcher Derek Lowe.


"We have a lot of good players on the ballclub that I would love to play with all the way through," Ortiz said. Asked if he thought his signing might trigger others to stay, he said, "I hope so. I hope, I hope. I want those guys around, too."


Ortiz, who is making $4,587,500 this year, was fifth in the AL MVP voting last year, when he hit .288 with 39 doubles, 31 homers and 101 RBIs. He was batting .261 with 16 doubles, 10 home runs and 31 RBIs going into Friday night's game against Toronto.


"He's a big part of this club, as are a lot of other guys," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said.


Martinez has already said he has broken off talks and will test the market. His agent, Fernando Cuza, who did not immediately return a call, also represents Ortiz.


Garciaparra has rejected a four-year, $60 million deal that the team reduced after the market softened in the past year. Convinced they would not be able to sign him, the Red Sox tried to trade for Alex Rodriguez last winter before he went to the New York Yankees instead.


Lowe and Varitek, who share agent Scott Boras, are expected to test the free-agent market after the season.


The Red Sox used to have a policy against negotiating during the season, but team president Admin Lucchino said they have "suspended" that rule because so many players were coming up at one time. Epstein said Ortiz had not expressed any reservations about negotiating through the year.


Although Lucchino said he hoped signing Ortiz would encourage other free agents to stay, he noted that each player is concerned with his own situation.


"That wasn't the motivation for signing this contract. David Ortiz earned this contract," Lucchino said. "But if that helped, we would certainly be pleased."


The extension will pay Ortiz $5.25 million next season and $6.5 million in 2006. There is a team option for $7.75 million in 2007 or a $750,000 buyout.


Ortiz, 28, was a key contributor last season as the team came within five outs of the World Series. He was credited with keeping the Red Sox clubhouse loose with his sense of humor and friendship with fellow Dominican Manny Ramirez.


He signed with the Red Sox as a free agent last season after Martinez made a call to the Boston brass to campaign for his fellow Dominican. Ortiz spent six seasons in Minnesota, where he helped spark the Twins' resurgence from likely candidate for contraction to AL Central contender.


Entering this season, Ortiz had a career .271 batting average with 89 home runs and 339 RBIs. He was signed by Seattle in 1992 and traded to Minnesota in 1996.

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he's like Mo Vaughn

Except he Re-Signed...moron....that analogy makes no sense woah, calm yourself down brohan


i was just saying he is just like Mo Vaughn when Mo was in Boston


nothing derogatory meant by it Sorry....had a temper last night... :thumbup

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