The gap between what David Ortiz wants and what the Red Sox have offered could narrow quickly in the coming days, but for now, it’s “not very close,” according to a major league source.
The terms “progress” and “closing in” have been mentioned in reports on the early stages of talks, but unless things happen quickly, Ortiz could be out there in free agency.
The Red Sox still appear to be the best bet for the 36-year-old DH, who is seeking a two-year deal somewhere close to the $14.75 million per year he made in 2012 but could settle for less for the same number of years.
The Red Sox are expected to make a qualifying offer ($13.3 million) to ensure that they would receive a draft pick if Ortiz signs elsewhere.
Teams can make qualifying offers to their free agents by 5 p.m. Friday. Players then have until 5 p.m. Nov. 9 to make a decision. If the player accepts, he is under contract for 2013. If he declines, he is a free agent, but his old team would get a supplemental draft pick at the end of the first round.