Ortiz wants to make deal, avoid arbitration

Ortiz wants to make deal, avoid arbitration

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz said he wants a multi-year deal and would like to avoid salary arbitration for next season. The slugger told MLB.com that his arbitration hearing is scheduled for a date close to Feb. 12.

"We are working on that right now," Ortiz said at a banquet for the participants in Major League Baseball's Venezuela-Dominican Showcase. "Hopefully, we will get to an agreement so we don't have to go in front of the judge."

The Red Sox have offered a $12.65 million salary to Ortiz, but he has asked for $16.5 million. Ortiz, who hit .309 with 29 home runs and 96 RBIs for Boston last season, wants to come to an agreement soon.

"I would like to," Ortiz said. "I asked a long time ago and they didn't get to an agreement. My agents are working on it and hopefully, things go good."

He still holds out hope for a multi-year deal. Arbitration hearings, which are heard in St. Petersburg, Fla., run through Feb. 21.

"They are working on it," Ortiz said. "There is still time."

In the meantime, the slugger said he has been focusing on preparing himself for the start of Spring Training later this month.

"There is a lot of competition in the American League this year," Ortiz said. "My brother [Albert] Pujols is here and the Yankees and Tampa made trades. I want to arrive ready to play hard immediately."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.