Theo Epstein revealed that the legend of David Ortiz almost didn't grow in Boston.
During the 2003 season, the Boston Red Sox were debating between Ortiz and Shea Hillenbrand. Ortiz had been signed in January 2003 after the Minnesota Twins non-tendered him.
"David Ortiz hit all of two runs in the first [two months] of the 2003 season and in mid-May had his agent come and ask me for a trade to somewhere he could play more regularly," Epstein said. "Fernando Cuza came to talk to me and I told Cuza at the time that David was someone we wanted to get everyday at-bats, but we just needed to pare down the roster a little bit. We ended up trading Hillenbrand instead of David Ortiz, so I guess that was a good decision in hindsight. David got regular playing time and ended up hitting close to 30 homers in the second half of the season and was off and running as Big Papi."
Ortiz went on to win three World Series title with the Red Sox, hitting more than 500 home runs.