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Red Sox rumors: Boston, David Ortiz step up contract talks

Contract discussions between the Red Sox and free agent-to-be David Ortiz will intensify in the next week.

Jim Rogash - Getty Images

Serious conversations between the Boston Red Sox and free agent-to-be David Ortiz will begin at "some point next week," reports Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com:

"David is someone who we feel strongly about bringing back, and we're trying to figure out a way to do that and we hope that happens," Cherington said in New York.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said that re-signing Ortiz would be a priority this offseason. A team source told ESPNBoston.com that they will intensify efforts to do so in the near future.

Despite his age (36) and the fact that he’s limited to the designated hitter position, Ortiz is seeking a two-year deal this winter. He was limited to 90 games this season, he hit an impressive .318/.415/.611 with 26 doubles and 23 home runs over 324 at-bats. He is expected to be fully healthy entering 2013.

Contract talks between the Red Sox and Ortiz drug out through last offseason. The slugger accepted arbitration, and it took until December 7 for him to sign his one-year $14.575 million deal.