Report: MLB to examine Ortiz's Encarnacion comments for tampering
David Ortiz's public comments on his preferred replacement may have gotten him in a bit of trouble with Major League Baseball.
The league is reportedly expected to look into the Boston Red Sox slugger's post-All-Star Game comments where he openly lobbied for Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion to join the Red Sox next season for possible tampering, according to Sportsnet 590 The Fan's Jeff Blair.
"The Red Sox know also they need to bring a force in the middle of the lineup (after I retire),'' the 40-year-old told reporters on Tuesday. "And sorry, Blue Jays, but who better than Encarnacion to do that?''
Players are subject to discipline if they violate baseball's tampering rules just like team executives, Blair noted.
Encarnacion - a free agent at season's end - has been linked with the Red Sox since last December thanks to their similar production and his .296/.373/.547 career line at Fenway Park. Though he was flattered by Ortiz's words, the 33-year-old refused to discuss his free agency and reaffirmed his focus to the Blue Jays.
Tuesday was not the first time this season Ortiz had lobbied for Encarnacion to join his team. In early April, Big Papi told Rob Bradford of WEEI that Encarnacion would make "a perfect replacement." Encarnacion refused to weigh in at that time as well, again citing his desire to not talk contract until season's end.
Encarnacion wasn't the only All-Star who caught Ortiz's eye in San Diego, as he also lobbied for the Red Sox to acquire Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez.
"He has incredible stuff," Ortiz said. "I thought he was gonna end up playing with me this year. I mean, you never know. I want him in my starting rotation. I mean, we need a little bit of help and hopefully that happens at some point, who knows?"