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David Ortiz blasts Red Sox over contract status

David Ortiz earned a warm reception in Oakland after hitting his 400th career home run on Wednesday. Ben Margot/AP

It’s no secret Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz has has been unhappy about his contract status after settling for a one-year deal last offseason. Before Wednesday’s game, in which Ortiz slugged his 400th career home run, he told USA Today’s Jorge Ortiz in an extensive Spanish-language interview that he feels “humiliated” and “embarrassed” about his contract situation.

The Red Sox’ designated hitter hit .309 with 29 homers and 96 RBIs last season, but the newly positioned Sox general manager, Ben Cherington, opted against signing Ortiz to a multi-year contract. Instead, he offered Ortiz arbitration. They agreed to a one-year, $14.575 million deal, a $2.025 million raise from the year before.


“It was humiliating,” Ortiz said. “There’s no reason a guy like me should go through that. ... And yet they don’t hesitate to sign other guys. It was embarrassing.”

Ortiz, 36, is the Red Sox’ longest-tenured player. The only player remaining from the 2004 World Series winner, Ortiz has watched the Red Sox dole out multi-year contracts to players such as Carl Crawford, John Lackey, and Adrian Gonzalez in recent years while he has remained largely in year-to-year status.

Ortiz, who is in his 10th year with the Red Sox, was the team’s only All-Star Game selection this year. He’s hitting .302 with 22 home runs and 55 RBIs.

Cherington said in an e-mail to USA Today the Red Sox would not look to start negotiations on an extension during the season.