FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz’s agent, Fernando Cuza, was waiting outside the Red Sox clubhouse Tuesday when his client got finished working out.
Cuza said it was merely a social call to touch base with Ortiz, something he does every year. But Cuza plans to stay around for a few days to speak to Red Sox principal owner John Henry.
Cuza said he has not yet engaged in any discussions with the Red Sox about an extension for Ortiz, who is signed though the end of the coming season. But he is prepared for that to happen.
“There is something to talk about. We’ll see what happens,” Cuza said.
The 38-year-old Ortiz drew a large crowd to watch him take batting practice on Field 1. He launched several balls over the chain-link Green Monster then retreated to the outfield.
Holding a bat, Ortiz stood in center field bantering with a group of teammates. When the workout ended, he signed autographs for fans along the backstop. One signature was on a champagne bottle.
Ortiz told the Globe in December that he was seeking a contract extension for 2015 and was hopeful of striking a deal in spring training. General manager Ben Cherington has said several times since that the team wants Ortiz to retire as a member of the Red Sox.
Ortiz was signed to a two-year, $26 million deal before last season. It jumped to $30 million when he avoided a lengthy stay on the disabled list.
Ortiz is expected to meet with reporters Wednesday and could take the opportunity to continue his campaign for a new deal.
Cordero gets chance
Fielding practice is a tedious spring training task for most pitchers. But Francisco Cordero enjoyed it on Tuesday.
The 38-year-old righthander was signed to a minor league contract over the weekend after sitting out all of last year. Cordero pitched so poorly in 2012 (a 7.55 earned run average in 47 games) that no team wanted to sign him.
“You make mistakes, you get hit. I don’t say any excuses. In 2012, I got hit real hard. But that is behind me,” Cordero said.
Now, 32 pounds lighter, Cordero is getting an opportunity.
“I appreciate everybody in the Red Sox organization for giving me a chance,” he said. “When I got the call from my agent that I had a deal from Boston and a chance to make the team, that was great, great news.”
A three-time All-Star with 329 career saves, Cordero said he “felt great” throwing in the bullpen.
“I’m pretty healthy right now. My arm is good. I feel like one of those young guys when you first get invited to spring training,” he said.
Cordero said his comeback is not about money, it’s more a desire to continue playing. The Sox have offered no guarantees beyond $1 million if he makes the team. Cordero’s contract contains no opt-out clause, although the Sox likely would grant Cordero his release if another team offers a major league roster spot.
Cordero said he would consider pitching in the minors if the Red Sox requested it.
“I’m not going to say no. I love this game and I want to pitch,” he said.
“Let’s see what happens.”
Sox manager John Farrell managed Cordero in 2012 while in Toronto.
“He’s in great shape from two years ago,” Farrell said.
The Drew market
That the Red Sox will save $13.25 million by not paying Ryan Dempster this season has not changed their approach with free agent shortstop Stephen Drew.
Team sources said any decision on whether to retain Drew hinges on their evaluation of the infield and not the unexpected infusion of available payroll. If the Sox do bring Drew back, the deal would have to be one that does not push them past the luxury tax threshold of $189 million.
The Mets and Yankees have what would seem to be a more obvious need for Drew.
Xander Bogaerts has been playing exclusively shortstop in training camp and Red Sox coaches have said they’re pleased with the progress of third baseman Will Middlebrooks. But depth is a concern at both positions.
Peavy gets going
Jake Peavy (tendinitis in his right ring finger) played long toss and threw a few pitches from flat ground. He skipped throwing in the bullpen but should be cleared for that soon. “It seems to be subsiding,” Farrell said . . . Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, and Andrew Miller threw in the bullpen . . . Uehara joked that Japanese reporters were spending too much time covering new Yankees pitcher Masahito Tanaka. “Tanaka, Tanaka, Tanaka, Tanaka, sometimes [Yu] Darvish. No Koji,” he said.