Red Sox: Pursuit of J.D. Martinez takes twists and turns

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 06: J.D. Martinez /

The Boston Red Sox may have significant competition for J.D. Martinez as other teams clear payroll. What is apparent is the price is going way up.

The intrigue continues in the Boston Red Sox pursuit of J.D. Martinez. The rumor around the campfire was the team with the red booties was number one on the ledger to make Martinez part of the one percent of the one percent. Now? Well, partner, there’s gold in those hills and the Scott Boras mining company is in full extraction mode.

The latest report via Michael Silverman is Martinez wishes to play a corner outfield position. Martinez can certainly hit and as far as his defensive skills? Well, Martinez can certainly hit. But Boston survived Hanley Ramirez for a season (barely) and Jason Bay is what I think about when Martinez to left surfaces.

The other corner of the outfield has Mookie Betts and his defensive skills are the best in either league for right field. And we all recognize that right at cozy Fenway Park is not user-friendly to those with leather.

If the Red Sox sales pitch is a guaranteed positioning for Martinez that would mean a quick departure for Jackie Bradley to free up a position for Martinez. The good news is this is not a real deal breaker as Martinez would (supposedly) be willing to toil as a DH. I feel your multi-million-dollar pain, J.D.

The real warning sign for the Red Sox accounting staff is what is happening with other potential suitors for Martinez – they are clearing payroll or attempting to possibly pursue Martinez. The most notable is the Giants who lost out on Giancarlo Stanton.

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The Giants just shipped off Matt Moore and now are looking to dump the almost $19 million that is on the books for Hunter Pence. Too bad this was not four years ago as I would rather have the performance balanced Pence than Martinez.

Martinez did play for Arizona and apparently, the D-Backs were impressed enough to potentially clear payroll with a trade of Zack Greinke. Greinke is still one of the best pitchers in baseball and paid accordingly. My $3 calculator has Greinke down for around $130 Million over the next four years.

Undoubtedly there are others with both needs and money to have Martinez just swoon over their offers. The rival Blue Jays are on the market for being sold and what better way to enhance value with a premier free agent.

Maybe the Baltimore Orioles will step in? The O’s big need is pitching so using O’s logic I expect them to go full-bore for hitting! I will not even think about the Yankees getting Martinez, but they are also in the process of attempting to dump Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract. Good luck on that one.

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Meanwhile, this will go slowly as it always does with Boras. Why hurry? Make ‘em wait and watch the less than interested fall by the wayside. What is becoming clear is this will be a contract that may double what Boston could and should have paid for Edwin Encarnacion in the 2016 offseason.