Published On: Sun, Aug 21st, 2016

Red Sox owner: Ortiz is 'not replaceable'

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4h ago

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

How the Boston Red Sox prepare for life after David Ortiz is still anyone’s guess, including team owner John Henry.

With the slugging Beantown icon hanging up his cleats at the end of the season, Henry admits replacing Ortiz’s tremendous offensive production will be a near impossible task for president Dave Dombrowski, general manager Mike Hazen, and skipper John Farrell.

“He’s not replaceable, really,” Henry admitted Saturday to the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman. “Thankfully, it’s not my job. Ask Dave and Mike and John.”

In his 20th and final season, Ortiz is batting .321/.413/.657 (170 OPS+) with 29 home runs and an MLB-best 38 doubles, making finding a suitable replacement exceedingly difficult. The slugger found himself in hot water over the All-Star break when he publicly vouched for Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion to be his successor.

Henry, though, believes Ortiz’s replacement may already be on the roster, citing embattled third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who’s out for the season after shoulder surgery in May, as a possible solution.

“Pablo is a supremely talented veteran and a proven winner. He knows exactly what he needs at this point in his career. With Papi leaving we absolutely need Pablo to return to the form we’ve seen in the past,” Henry said. “This year and last were frustrating for him and frustrating for us. We need him next year.

“I think a lot of people wrote off Hanley (Ramirez) last year. He’s an extremely important part of the offense and the defense now.”



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