BOSTON -- If anyone knows about taking a big swing in Boston, it's David Ortiz. And Big Papi is hoping to see new Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow take a massive swing in his first offseason in the front office.
Shohei Ohtani is the biggest star on the market right now, and he would add a lot of pop (and at some point, some pitching) to the Boston roster. He's expected to sign a massive, record-breaking deal this winter, but Ortiz doesn't believe that payday will come from the Red Sox.
But Ortiz has another big-swinger on his offseason wish list for the Red Sox: Juan Soto.
Soto is signed through next season but the San Diego Padres are expected to entertain trade offers for the slugging superstar. He's only 25 but Soto is a three-time All Star and a World Series champ, and is coming off a 2023 season where he hit a career-high 35 homers to go with 109 RBI (one off his career-best 110 RBI in 2019 with the Nationals) and slashed .275/.410/.519.
Ortiz says there is a lot to love about Soto, and the Red Sox should have what it takes to get a trade done with the Padres.
"He knows the strike zone. As a hitter when you know the strike zone, it's a wrap," Ortiz told WBZ-TV's Dan Roche. "You don't swing when the pitchers want; you swing when you want.
"His whole focus and priorities are baseball," Ortiz added of Soto. "He's a kid that works for any organization he goes to. He can be a franchise player for any organization."
Ortiz is also worried that if the Red Sox don't make a bid for Soto, and the Yankees lose out on Ohtani, then New York could make a push for the lefty.
"I just don't want him to go to the pinstripes," Ortiz said. "I don't want to have to put up with him; he's that good."
While adding a power bat to the lineup would add a lot more juice to the Red Sox, the team's big priority this offseason should center on pitching. Boston needs to add at least one high-end starter and could probably use another for depth.
Ortiz doesn't believe the Red Sox will make a run at National League Cy Young winner Blake Snell, who is going to ask for a lot in free agency. But he could see the team making a strong push to bring in Jordan Montgomery, who is fresh off winning a World Series title with the Texas Rangers.
"The guy can pitch," Ortiz said of Mongtomery, who had a 2.90 ERA in 31 postseason innings for the Rangers in October. "He can pitch, he got the body language, and he's very smart. I think he can do good things in our division.
"He's a guy that keeps the ball on the infield a lot. His ball has a lot of late movement that is good, and I think we need guys like that. He eats a lot of innings also," said Ortiz. "I believe in a guy like that."
Ortiz also has a strong belief that Breslow, whom he shared the Boston locker room with from 2012-16, has what it takes to make the Red Sox a contender again.
"He's been in a clubhouse when we were winning. He knows what it takes to win and knows how we roll in Boston," Ortiz said of Breslow. "He knows what the fans expect from us. He lived through that as a player, now he needs to transfer as a GM."
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