The Boston Red Sox and David Ortiz are close to reaching an agreement on a two-year contract, multiple media outlets reported Friday.
The Red Sox will pay Ortiz between $13 and $15 million per year, according to various reports. That's about the same salary Ortiz received this past season.
Boston made a qualifying offer of $13.3 million to Ortiz on Friday, but that was merely to guarantee that the Red Sox would receive some compensation through the draft if Ortiz would sign with another team.
That seems unlikely now.
"Well, we're working on it," general manager Ben Cherington said on WEEI radio Thursday night regarding negotiations with Ortiz. "We've been talking to David since the end of the season, and it's been a good conversation. Everyone knows that we'd like to keep him, and I think there's mutual interest. And we've had a lot of talks, and we've made up some ground in some areas, but we still have some work to do."
Ortiz, who turns 37 in two weeks, hit .318 with 23 homers and 60 RBIs in 90 games in 2012. He missed most of the second half with a right Achilles injury.
The Red Sox didn't make qualifying offers to any of their other six-year free agents, a group that includes Cody Ross, Daisuke Matsuzaka, James Loney, Vicente Padilla and Scot Podsednik.