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Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting for the Yankees to Sign David Ortiz

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 28: David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox bats against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 28, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

This hasn't been the finest week for the Boston Red Sox, between the general manager jumping ship and the bombshell Boston Globe report that all but guarantees the team will be heckled about fast-food fried chicken and $300 headphones on the road next season. (We've reached the point where readers are being asked to look at pictures of the 2011 Red Sox to try to determine who may have gained weight this season. This is all getting rather ridiculous.) Anyway, David Ortiz is aware of all this, and told an ESPN reporter yesterday that "I don't know if I want to be part of this drama for next year." And then he admitted he'd think about potentially joining the Yankees.

Before we get into why that won't happen, a couple things to keep in mind. First of all, Ortiz was directly asked whether he'd consider playing for the Yankees, so we're not sure what he was supposed to say other than that he'd have to think about it. Even if Ortiz would never really change sides in this rivalry — Andy Pettitte, for instance, admitted in 2007 that he never really considered Boston's generous offer in 2003 — it wouldn't be in his best interest as a free-agent-to-be to say so publicly now.

Not that any of this really matters: Ortiz might be frustrated with the Red Sox, and maybe he really does want to play for the Yankees. But there's simply no place for him on the roster right now: Ortiz isn't very versatile, and the Yankees have no reason to bring in a designated hitter, let along one who turns 36 next month. Jesus Montero is likely to get a lot of at-bats as DH next season, and Joe Girardi will surely give both Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter their share of half-days off as well. We know the Yankees have poached players from the Red Sox roster in the past — Johnny Damon, for example, or Wade Boggs — but it's not happening this time.

One caveat to all of this: If Brian Cashman were to trade Jesus Montero for a pitcher this winter — and we don't think he will — that could very much change what the Yankees look to do during free agency.

Photo: G Fiume/Getty Images