"This is a very important day for the Red Sox," Epstein added. "This is one of those contracts where it all came together because we had a player who means so much to the organization, who's done so much for the organization and he wanted to stay in Boston.
"David really said that early on, and he meant it. It came together with tremendous commitment from ownership and David and his representatives to get this done in a timely fashion. We couldn't be happier for him and the Red Sox and for our fans."
Epstein said that talks actually began last November and continued over the winter.
"About 98 percent of this got done in Spring Training," Epstein said.
Ortiz had signed a two-year contract extension through 2006 with an option for the 2007 season on May 21, 2004.
Since signing with the Red Sox as a free agent in January of 2003, Ortiz has hit .297 with 128 doubles, 120 home runs, 254 extra-base hits, 392 RBIs, a .599 slugging percentage, a .384 on-base percentage and a .983 on-base plus slugging in 443 games, including 2006. In that time, he leads the Majors in RBIs, ranks first in the American League and second in the Majors in slugging and extra-base hits, third in the AL and fourth in the Majors in homers, and second in the AL and fifth in the Majors in doubles.
"I'm proud to be a Red Sox player," said the player, who just last year was awarded a plaque by ownership, honoring him as the "Best Clutch Player" in Red Sox history. "We had a long talk about myself staying here in Boston. What can I say? I want to finish my career as a Red Sox player. Thanks to Mr. Lucchino, Mr. Henry and Mr. Werner and Theo, we worked this out so I'll be around a while."
Through six games this season, Ortiz has gone 7-for-24 (.292) with two doubles, one homer, four RBIs and four runs scored.
In 2004 and 2005, Ortiz was named to his first two All-Star teams, was recognized with his first career Silver Slugger Awards, and was voted team MVP in both campaigns by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. The 30-year-old won the Hank Aaron Award as the outstanding hitter in the AL in 2005 and the Edgar Martinez Award as the AL's outstanding designated hitter in each of the last three seasons.
He finished among the top five in AL MVP voting in 2003 (fifth), 2004 (fourth) and 2005 (second). No other player in baseball has ranked in the top five in AL MVP voting in each of the last three years. In his Red Sox career, Ortiz has connected for 10 regular season walk-off hits, including six walk-off home runs.
Ortiz batted .300 with a career-best 47 home runs, 148 RBIs, 119 runs, 102 walks, a .604 slugging percentage and a .397 on-base percentage in 159 games for the Red Sox in 2005. He was listed first or second on every MVP ballot cast, finishing second in AL voting to New York's Alex Rodriguez. In addition to his other accolades, Ortiz won the Players Choice Award as the AL's outstanding player after leading the Majors in RBIs and ranking among AL leaders in extra-base hits (first with 88), home runs (second), slugging (second), walks (second), total bases (third), and runs (third).
The MVP of the 2004 American League Championship Series against the Yankees, Ortiz batted .400 (22-for-55) with five homers, 19 RBIs and 13 runs scored in 14 games en route to leading the Red Sox to the 2004 World Series title.
He established his place in Red Sox postseason lore when he connected for three extra-inning walk-off game-winning hits; a 10th-inning homer to win the Game 3 finale of the American League Division Series vs. Anaheim, a 12th-inning homer to keep the Sox alive in Game 4 of the ALCS and, the next night, a 14th-inning RBI single to again beat the Yankees and force a Game 6. No player in Major League history has more than two postseason walk-off hits in his career, and no player ever had more than one in a single postseason.
A native of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder began his big league career with the Minnesota Twins, batting .266 with 108 doubles, 58 homers and 238 RBIs in 455 games from 1998-2002. He has a .282 career Major League average with 178 homers and 630 RBIs in 898 games.