Red Sox Free Agency Rumors: J.D. Martinez seeking $200 million deal
By Sean Penney
While the report doesn’t specify the length of the deal, we can speculate that it would be in the seven or eight-year range.
An 8-year, $200 million deal would pay Martinez an average of $25 million a year, which may not be all that unreasonable for a slugger of his caliber. The issue is whether the 30-year old with a spotty injury history will hold up for a long-term deal. This massive contract would carry significant risk for a player who would be 37 years old entering the final year of the deal.
A seven-year deal at the same price tag presents less risk on the back end, although it’s offset by a less palatable average annual value of over $28.5 million. Is it worth paying a little extra per season to get out of the deal a year earlier when Martinez is in decline?
The Red Sox are already loaded in the outfield with arguably the best defensive trio in baseball. Signing Martinez wouldn’t be done with the intention of adding another outfielder so much as it would be about adding his home run power. Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi certainly aren’t going anywhere.
There have been whispers that Jackie Bradley could become expendable in the quest to add a bat. Benny would make a capable center fielder and Martinez has played left field in the past, yet the free agent slugger is a below-average defender in any outfield spot. As much as the Red Sox could use his power in the lineup, the overall upgrade to the outfield may not be as drastic as you might think when accounting for the drastic defensive drop-off at two positions.