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Thu, 16 Feb 2012 01:09 PM EST

David Ortiz has concluded to an agreement with the Boston Red Sox, avoiding a settlement hearing.

The sides settled for $14.575 million, the midpoint among what Ortiz had asked for and what the Red Sox offered. The Red Sox offered $12.65 million (a slight raise from his $12.5 million salary in 2011) and Ortiz had asked for $16.5 million.

Ortiz changed into an independent agent following the season then passed up an opportunity to go somewhere else when he accepted Boston’s settlement offer on December 7. Football spreads

“I feel satisfied since I avoided going to settlement,” he said, hours previous to the hearing had been lined up to start in St. Petersburg, Florida. “People are used to seeing me with the Red Sox uniform and when you have so much time in one franchise, and you are identified with it, the best thing is to stay, even though it is for $1 or $2 million off.”

The Red Sox have not gone to an arbitration hearing in ten years and have no unsigned players fit for settlement.

“It’s just one of those factors that when we all had everyone in the room together, it just made sense that we’d get to the midpoint and get it done,” Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said. Football odds

Ortiz’s agent, Fernando Cuza, told reporters that “both parts are very happy with the contract and we’ll leave it at that. This is a process and once we got together and talked it out, it made sense to get an agreement done and move on.”

Ortiz had one of his best seasons in years in 2011. He batted .309 with 29 home runs, 96 RBIs and a.952 OPS.

Signed as an independent agent from the Minnesota Twins in 2003, the 36-year-old is entering his tenth season with the Red Sox.

“I figured I was gonna achieve this deal, and that’s what we are celebrating right now,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz remains in the middle of a Red Sox lineup which has undergone one or two changes since the team went 7-20 last September and missed the playoffs on the final day of the regular season.

But the 1st 5 batters in the lineup return, controlled by center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who came 2nd in the American League MVP voting. Also back are 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and 3rd baseman Kevin Youkilis.

Ortiz had a remarkable season after taking off to poor starts the previous 2 years.

He came 4th in the AL in slugging and on-base percentage and 6th in batting average. His average, homers, RBIs, 162 hits, seventy extra-base hits, 40 doubles, .398 on-base percentage and .554 slugging percentage were all his highest totals in 4 years.

Ortiz is 5th in team history with 320 homers, 59 behind Dwight Evans for 4th place, and sixth with 1,028 RBIs, 219 behind Bobby Doerr for 5th place.

He accepted Boston’s offer of settlement under the last year of the old collective bargaining deal. Beginning this fall, instead of arbitration, teams may give their players qualifying offers equal to the average income of the top 125 players ranked by salary.

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