By - Kris Fletcher
Slugger David Ortiz has agreed to a deal with the Boston Red Sox, avoiding an arbitration hearing that was scheduled for later today.
|Photo by: Getty Images|
The sides settled on a one-year, $14.5 million dollar deal, which was about the midpoint between what Ortiz had asked for and what Boston offered.
Big Papi had one of his best seasons in years in 2011, finishing with a .309 average to go along with 29 home runs and 96 RBIs.
He finished fourth in the American League in slugging and on-base percentage and sixth in batting average. His average, homers, RBIs, 162 hits, 70 extra-base hits, 40 doubles, .398 on-base percentage and .554 slugging percentage were all his highest totals in four seasons.
Ortiz will now remain in the middle of a Red Sox lineup that has undergone many changes since the team went 7-20 last September and missed the playoffs on the final day of the regular season.
Left fielder Carl Crawford is expected to miss the start of the year following surgery on his left wrist. Shortstop Marco Scutaro was traded to the Colorado Rockies. Catcher Jason Varitek and right fielder J.D. Drew were not re-signed.
However, the first five batters in the lineup return led by center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who finished second in the AL MVP voting. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and third baseman Kevin Youkilis are all back as well.
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