A J.D. Martinez-Arizona Diamondbacks reunion may happen, but not on a five-year deal.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have been rumored to be in on slugger J.D. Martinez the whole offseason. This year’s free agent market has been very slow, so a lot of players haven’t gotten their money. Also, Martinez was reportedly “fed up” with the Boston Red Sox, who have offered him over $100 million dollars on a multi-year deal
Still, Boston doesn’t need to outbid itself at the moment. There really haven’t been any other suitors other than the Diamondbacks and Red Sox.
Now, the Diamondbacks are getting creative in luring back Martinez. Why not? No one has given him what he wants. He may just go back to where he was most successful and wait until next year. Recently, Scott Boras met with the Diamondbacks owner for the third time, according to Ken Rosenthal. A hurdle for Arizona is that star first baseman Paul Goldschidmt is a free agent after 2019, and the club is going to need over $25 million annually to keep him.
Here is Jon Heyman’s insight on what “creative” could mean:
While it isn’t known specifically what “creative” means, it is believed that the D-backs are considering a higher AAV (average annual value) and shorter term with opt-outs included. This could be one way to bridge the gap in overall dollars.
The Diamondbacks could do a two-year deal with a player option for a third year. They could also offer an opt-out after one year to see where the market is. Arizona would love to have him back at the right price, but Martinez isn’t letting up. The Red Sox know that no one is going to go higher in dollars than them. There are so many teams that want to stay under the luxury tax threshold that options are slim to none for the free agent.
With that said, Arizona could swoop in and offer a deal the slugger couldn’t refuse. But if Boras doesn’t bring his price down, no one will sign. That goes for his other clients such as Jake Arrieta, who is in the same situation as Martinez. They may have to go for shorter contracts and have options in the contract. There are less than three weeks before actual games start, and some big free agents are still out there.
The Diamondbacks are more of a win-now team, so they should break the bank to bring Martinez back. The Red Sox always have money, so holding their chips until next offseason isn’t a bad idea. If the slugger doesn’t want to go to Boston, the Sox don’t have to offer him anything. They don’t need another David Price situation.
And J.D. Martinez, please make your decision, because you’re holding everyone else up.