Ortiz took the news of his release from the Twins hard. He had just had his second child in 2001, and now worried he might be out of baseball. However, Ortiz had a chance encounter with Pedro Martínez at a restaurant in the Dominican Republic, and Martinez remembered the impressive home run he had given up to Ortiz in August 2002. Excited at the prospect of his friend joining him on the Boston Red Sox (who, coincidentally, needed a first baseman), Pedro began calling several Red Sox team officials to request that the team sign Ortiz.  On January 22, Ortiz signed a non-guaranteed free agent contract with the Red Sox that would be worth $ million if he made the team. New Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein envisioned Ortiz as one of several candidates to fill a void at first base. Competition was fierce, as the team had a logjam of players who could play the position or at designated hitter. Sabermetrics favorite Jeremy Giambi was widely expected to get most of the playing time, but also in the mix were primary third baseman Bill Mueller (who figured to DH at times), Shea Hillenbrand (who could play third base, first base, or DH), and Kevin Millar (who could play first base or outfield). The team's best hitter, outfielder Manny Ramirez , figured to DH at times also. When the season started, all of them made the team, including Ortiz.
The Colts are avoiding putting any pressure on the franchise player, and do not even have a timetable for a full return even to the practice field, though I am told a projected debut at practice is anticipated “sooner rather than later.” Most important, sources said there have been no setbacks in the passer’s incremental return from surgery. Obviously, all parties are taking every precaution with his return, which to this point has not included Luck really airing out the football or testing the shoulder, and thus leaves him still several weeks away from being even considered for the game-day roster.