The 2011-2012 Hot Stove season will go down as one of fiscal austerity for the Boston Red Sox: Relative inactivity in the free agent market. The Marco Scutaro salary dump. Abandoned plans for a Fenway Sports Group-operated orphanage in Kenmore Square.
However, baseball insiders claim that lost amidst the teeth-gnashing over the bewildering nickel-ing and dime-ing is the position of strength the team now stands in the D’Angelo Ortiz sweepstakes.
Son of current Sox DH David Ortiz, the 7-year-old Ortiz is already projecting toward future stardom, according to proprietary analytical systems utilized in Ben Cherington’s front office. Therefore, it makes sense for the team to lock up his peak years before he puts up meteoric statistics in Little League.
Sources say the money socked away from their offseason restraint will be invested in offshore capital-funded private equity funds and suspect pyramid schemes that will enable the team to offer “Little Papi” a record-sized contract that may approach $300 million.
Said one club mole, “We’ve been studying the market for the offspring of husky power hitters for years. Everybody loves David Ortiz. His home runs have helped lead this team to extraordinary success. After he’s retired, it won’t be long before we roll out Big Papi 2.0. D’Angelo will be given unhindered access to our batting cages and pitcher video analysis immediately. We’ve already asked him what type of design he wants for his iPad carrying case.”
D’Angelo’s birthday isn’t until July, meaning the younger Ortiz will spend the majority of the 2012 season at an ideal age for power development and pitch recognition training.
“If he were already 8 or 9 years old, we’d pare down the contract offer slightly. But with him being only 7 and a half, this isn’t the time to be stingy on the average annual value of the contract,” said a team accountant requesting anonymity.
Said one scout, “We are aware of his father’s body type and the likelihood he’ll develop similarly. But we believe we have identified a key market inefficiency that can be exploited by signing him to a mega-deal while he is in grade school. He can start immediately entertaining fans during batting practice and as he becomes major league-ready, we will start writing him into the lineup. This is one of those rare guaranteed returns on an investment.”
Analysts have debated about how to possibly reconcile a roster spot for a 7-year-old prospect. However, many believe D’Angelo Ortiz’s presence on the team may just be the only explanation for the puzzling absence of a viable everyday shortstop on the 40-man roster.