You're David Ortiz. Wow! That is very impressive! You are a free agent. You're coming off of a $12.5 million salary. You're also coming off a season so good it would've fit neatly into your career peak. You're 36 years old. The Boston Red Sox have reportedly offered you $18 million over two years. The Red Sox have also offered you arbitration. You have until Wednesday to decide whether or not to accept said arbitration. What do you do?
According to Enrique Rojas, you accept arbitration:
David Ortiz on Wednesday plans to accept the offer of salary arbitration that extended the Red Sox, ensuring your stay in Boston for at least 2012
I apologize for the terrible translation. It is not my translation - it is Google's translation. I could have translated myself, but this way I get to put the words in a neat little blockquote.
The gist? Ortiz is accepting. He'll apparently officially accept on Wednesday. By doing this, Ortiz guarantees that he will return to the Red Sox in 2012, pulling himself out of free agency.
And that isn't all. By accepting arbitration, Ortiz sets himself up for something like a $15 million or $16 million salary next year, if he and the Red Sox can't come to a multi-year agreement. The two sides can continue to negotiate, and Ortiz is said to be looking for $25 million over two years. But if the Red Sox don't offer him that, and if this gets as far as arbitration, Ortiz will be in line for a raise over his 2011 salary. Arbitration doesn't care that Ortiz is getting older, and that he's a DH, and that he's not what he used to be. Arbitration cares that Ortiz just drilled 29 dingers and drove in 96 runs. Arbitration cares that Ortiz just batted .309. Arbitration is primitive, and arbitration could make David Ortiz a happy fellow.
Accepting is the sensible thing. It's the obvious thing. It wouldn't make sense for Ortiz to turn it down. The two sides will have until February to come to some other agreement.