It’s been an uneventful and somewhat concerning offseason for the Boston Red Sox, who seem to be struggling to reach an agreement with free agent J.D. Martinez.
According to Scott Lauber of ESPN, the Boston Red Sox do not appear to be any closer to inking a deal with free agent J.D. Martinez. Martinez is thought to be the top free-agent position player on the market this offseason. Lauber reports that Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski had this to say about the situation:
I don’t know if we’re closer to doing anything or not. I don’t think it’s changed a great deal.
It’s not been a particularly productive offseason for a Red Sox team that has been actively trying to land the free agent slugger. Boston has reportedly put a five-year, $125 million deal on the table, but Martinez is said to be holding out for a longer deal.
At 30 years old, it’s easy to see why the Red Sox would be reluctant to go longer than five years on the outfielder. They could try and offer a longer deal for a smaller AAV, but they’d still be at risk of a major decline in production during his final years of a prospective contract.
Martinez was traded to the Diamondbacks at the 2017 July trade deadline after previously spending four seasons with the Detroit Tigers and three seasons with the Houston Astros.
He’s been one of the league’s most consistent hitters for the past few seasons, providing power and a high on-base percentage from the corner outfield. In 2017, he slashed an impressive .303/.376/.690 with a whopping 45 home runs and 104 RBI.
For the Red Sox to add that kind of bat to an already talented and powerful lineup would be huge. The AL East looks like it’s going to be a two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The Yankees have already added one of the best hitters in the game, acquiring Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins. At this point, New York appears to have more muscle than Boston. But signing Martinez would be a big step towards matching their pop.
Martiniez is a career .285 hitter with a 130 OPS+. Boston certainly seems like one of the best fits for the free agent outfielder. With a $125 million offer out there, it’s surprising a deal hasn’t already been reached. The Red Sox already look like a contender. But adding Martinez would give them an even better chance to make a serious postseason run.