After holding out on a deal like many other free agents this past MLB offseason, J.D. Martinez has finally decided to bring his talents to Boston.
The contract, that gives Martinez 110 million over 5 years, is a huge signing for the Red Sox. It was very clear how bad this Boston team was struggling in terms of power, as the absence of Ortiz in 2017 really took its toll. Martinez adds a little spice to the Red Sox lineup, as a good year from decent power guys like Betts and Ramirez could potentially put this team back on the radar as one of the best home run hitting teams in the league.
Martinez should fit into the lineup quite nicely, as Red Sox manager Alex Cora currently has him at the clean up spot. With Betts, Benintendi, and Ramirez in front of Martinez, this lineup can do some damage.
The real question is whether or not Martinez can put the Red Sox ahead of the Yankees. Although Boston took the division last year, we all know that the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton has put the Yankees ahead of the Sox. Interestingly enough, from 2015-2017, Martinez had better numbers. Through that time span, Martinez had a better average, OBP, OPS, and RBI total than Stanton. If this singing can do anything for the Red Sox, it can reignite the rivalry between the them and the Yankees. Saying which team is better depends on much more than two players, but this signing by Boston makes things close, and come September, that’ll prove true.
There are always some doubts when a trade is made or when a player is signed, and although they’re usual minimal with star player signings; the Martinez signing has a few. Remember when Martinez said he was “frustrated” that the Red Sox wouldn’t budge on their side of contract negotiations? Well Scott Boras did his best to repair the damage from that report, but we all remember. Boras started to scramble when Martinez realized that the only other offer besides the Red Sox’s offer was a one year offer from Arizona. After this, Martinez pretty much knew that Boston was his only option. Does Martinez really want to play for the Red Sox? Or did he settle? Regardless, it doesn’t matter too much for him, as he has a 2 year opt-out on his contract if he wants it. Meanwhile, Martinez’s former teammate David Price got in Martinez’s ear telling him “prepare to get booed,” as if other fans don’t boo players for bad performances. Price has been known to struggle with that aspect of the game in a market like Boston, so let’s see how Martinez handles it.
Martinez has already joined the Red Sox for spring training, but his signing is still waiting to be officially announced by the team; as his physical is pending.