Shohei Ohtani

David Ortiz doesn't sound convinced the Red Sox will pursue Ohtani

Big Papi said the Red Sox are "rebuilding" when asked about the Angels superstar.

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David Ortiz has no problem telling the Boston Red Sox how to spend their money. But it doesn't appear that he'll be campaigning for Shohei Ohtani in a Sox uniform.

Ohtani has been a hot topic of discussion during the MLB All-Star break, as there are rumors the Los Angeles Angels may look to trade the superstar pitcher/designated hitter before the Aug. 1 MLB trade deadline to avoid letting him leave for nothing in 2024 free agency.

Ortiz, who is employed by the Red Sox as a "special assistant" and team ambassador, was asked Thursday if he believed Boston had a legitimate chance to acquire Ohtani.

"Well, the reality is that you're talking about the best player on earth," Ortiz told WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show." "And to be able to get Shohei, I mean -- you know that we are rebuilding.

"... The reality is that to get Shohei, whoever decides to get him is going to have to give away a lot. And the Red Sox right now, we are trying to rebuild the farm. We have some good candidates coming up from the farm, and that's something that I don't know (if) the front office has discussed that."

Translation: Ortiz doesn't see chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom parting with his top prospects to bring in Ohtani.

You might disagree with that logic by pointing out that Ohtani is a generational talent who could singlehandedly return the Red Sox to relevance by giving them an ace on their pitching staff and a fearsome middle-of-the-order bat. (Ohtani is tied for fourth in all of MLB in pitching strikeouts and leads the league in home runs.) If Bloom has the opportunity to even be in the mix for Ohtani, you might say, he can't pass that up.

To Ortiz's point, however, Bloom's Red Sox have prioritized re-stocking the farm system while being selective with their spending at the MLB level. Aside from extending Rafael Devers and signing Trevor Story, Bloom hasn't spent big to acquire any superstar via trade or free agency, and it's hard to see him parting with top prospect Marcelo Mayer and/or young ace Brayan Bello, even to land a player of Ohtani's caliber.

Perhaps Bloom will make an exception for Ohtani, but Ortiz would be the first person to beat the Ohtani-to-Boston drum, and his tepid comments on the subject suggest he doesn't see the Red Sox as serious players in the Shohei sweepstakes.

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