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Ortiz Plans to Take Arbitration and Stay With Red Sox, ESPN Says

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz plans today to accept a team offer of salary arbitration that will keep him in Boston next season, ESPN reported, quoting a person aware of the decision who requested anonymity.

Ortiz, 36, who hit .309 with 29 home runs and 96 runs batted this past season, has until 11:59 p.m. Boston time to agree to a one-year deal and decline free agency. The amount of his contract would be determined in an arbitration hearing.

Ortiz, whose salary was $12.5 million in 2011, has been seeking a multiyear contract from the Red Sox. The two sides still could negotiate such a deal if Ortiz accepts arbitration.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine traveled to the Dominican Republic on Dec. 2, a day after he was introduced at Boston’s Fenway Park as the team’s new manager, to visit Ortiz at his charity golf tournament, team spokesman Pam Ganley confirmed yesterday in an e-mail.

A seven-time All-Star who has finished among the top five in American League Most Valuable Player voting in five of his nine seasons with the Red Sox, Ortiz has 378 home runs in 15 Major League Baseball seasons with Minnesota and Boston.

“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,” General Manager Ben Cherington told reporters yesterday at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Dallas.

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