This entire offseason has been strangely odd for the game’s big names. Most of them have remained unsigned, and J.D. Martinez is one of them. Now he might not actually sign with the Red Sox.
The Boston Red Sox have been the frontrunners to sign outfield slugger J.D. Martinez, but he’s yet to sign their offer of five years for $125 million. Why is that? Well, Martinez believes he’s worth more than that, and quite frankly you shouldn’t blame him.
Martinez was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Arizona Diamondbacks and absolutely exploded to the tune of 45 home runs and 104 RBI in just 119 games last season. Martinez wants seven years and $200 million-plus. He’s reportedly been telling teams he’s fed up with the Red Sox.
Now Martinez could just be holding serve just to try and squeeze the most out of the Red Sox, but they’ve been pretty steady on the deal they offered Martinez. Normally this wouldn’t that big of a deal when you’re talking about the Sox and contract negotiations, but they recently lost their arbitration hearing with Mookie Betts. So GM Dave Dombrowski has already had to fold once this offseason.
As far as Martinez’s contract is concerned, I think he’s worth the $200 million, but the fact of the matter is nobody wants to fork over that much money to anybody not named Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. Nelson Cruz is one of the game’s best sluggers, but he’s only making $14 million this season. Despite the production, the dollars just aren’t there.
Martinez could completely squash the Red Sox from his list of teams and just head back to Arizona, which seems like the better option. The numbers are going to be there because of the ballpark alone, and if you add in the fact Arizona doesn’t have an income tax, he would actually make more money.
Pitchers and catchers report in less than two weeks, so time is running out for Martinez and the rest of the free agents to find a team. He may have to just take what’s given to him and live with it.