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Boston - The Red Sox have agreed to terms with designated hitter David Ortiz on a two-year deal worth $26 million that could allow the biggest star of the franchise's cathartic 2004 World Series victory to retire in a Boston uniform.
A baseball official with knowledge of the negotiations said Friday night that the sides reached agreement on a deal that, with incentive bonuses, could bring Ortiz $30 million in the 2013 and '14 seasons. The official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been signed.
Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said the team had nothing to announce. Ortiz' agent, Fern Cuza, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Speaking at the Celtics' home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night, Ortiz said, "We haven't finished it up yet."
"It's coming," he said as he walked back to his courtside seat at the TD Garden "It's coming."
But fans who had heard about the deal were already shouting their congratulations to the player beloved in Boston as "Big Papi."
The crowd cheered when he was shown on the scoreboard at the end of the third quarter, and he acknowledged the support by raising his left arm straight up.One of the most popular players in Red Sox history, Ortiz now has a chance to finish his career in the city where it was rejuvenated after he was waived by the Minnesota Twins following the 2003 season.
Ortiz signed with the Red Sox and became an immediate star, batting .288 with 31 homers and 101 in his first season.
Ortiz was a free agent and able to discuss money with all teams at midnight. The Red Sox made him a $13.3 million qualifying offer, but the sides continued negotiating and reached an agreement a few hours later.
Ortiz batted .318 with 23 homers and 60 RBI while missing almost half the season due to a strained right Achilles tendon.
Boston did not make qualifying offers Friday to right-handers Aaron Cook, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Vicente Padilla; first baseman James Loney; and outfielders Scott Podsednik and Cody Ross.
In other baseball news:
• The Yankees made made qualifying offers of $13.3 million to pitchers Hiroki Kuroda and Rafael Soriano, and to right fielder Nick Swisher.
If any of the three sign a major league contract with another team, New York would receive draft-pick compensation in next year's amateur draft.
Under baseball's new labor contract, the qualifying offers replace the team agreeing to go to salary arbitration. A player has until Nov. 9 to accept the $13.3 million deal.
Soriano opted out of a $14 million salary for next year, preferring a $1.5 million buyout.
New York had 10 other players who became free agents: pitchers Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Freddy Garcia, Derek Lowe and Pedro Feliciano; outfielders Raul Ibanez, Ichiro Suzuki and Andruw Jones; catcher Russell Martin; and third baseman Eric Chavez.
• A person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press that the Los Angeles Angels have agreed to trade pitcher Dan Haren to the Chicago Cubs for closer Carlos Marmol.
Haren, a three-time All-Star from 2007-09, is the second starting pitcher traded by the busy Angels in three days. Los Angeles shipped Ervin Santana to the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday for minor league left-hander Brandon Sisk.
The Angels had until midnight on Friday to exercise Haren's $15.5 million option for next season. He had a $3.5 million buyout.