1. Will This Be Big Papi’s Last Hurrah In Boston?
Back on August 8, David Ortiz doubled off of Detroit Tigers’ starter Alfredo Simon. It was his 425th plate appearance, which initiated his vesting option for 2016. Ortiz had a stellar age-39 season, posting 37 HRs and 108 RBIs on the strength of a .913 OPS. That all translated into a very enjoyable 3.2 WAR season, which also saw him reach, and eclipse, the 500-homer mark. However, moving forward into his age-40 season, will he be able to keep up that level of production and convince the Sox front office to pick up the 2017 club option?
Baseball Reference already has him projected to slash .265/.349/.513 with 30 big flies and 91 driven in. If he even approaches those numbers, it seems inevitable that he will return in 2017. If he falters, due to aging and reduced bat speed or physical ailments, it would seem certain to be his last season in Boston. In that situation, I would hope that he decides to retire while still in a Sox uniform. That should mandate a Derek Jeter-esque retirement parade throughout the season, being showered with gifts and honors by opponents he’s crushed since 2003.
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