Okay, so now it's official: Red Sox designated hitter (and occasional first baseman) David Ortiz will return to the fold, having signed a new two-year contract for $26 million, with another possible $4 million in incentives (read: playing time).
This is a perfectly reasonable contract for everyone involved, as Ortiz was worth roughly $32 million over the last couple of seasons -- even though he played in just 90 games this year -- but is of course a bit older now than then. It's unlikely that Big Papi could have gotten quite as much from another club, but then he's worth a little more to the Red Sox than to other teams because ... well, because he's Big Papi.
This move does suggest that the Red Sox will at least try to rebound quickly from their last-place finish in 2012. That obviously includes bolstering a lineup that -- even with Ortiz missing significant time, and a patchwork outfield -- finished fifth in the American League in scoring. But the inevitable bolstering wouldn't have been much good without a potent hitter in the DH slot. And now the Sox have that once more, assuming Papi's healthy.