Red Sox: JD Martinez ‘fed up, would rather sign with another club’
The Boston Red Sox and JD Martinez are growing further apart in negotiations. Martinez is now apparently wanting to sign elsewhere.
The Boston Red Sox have been after JD Martinez since the offseason began. The media knows it. We know it. Everyone in baseball knows it.
However, recent developments suggest contract negotiations have hit a snag, leaving a stare down between Red Sox general manager and Martinez’s agent, Scott Boras.
While just about every client of Boras’ goes through a drawn out negotiation before they’re signed with a team, the relationship between Martinez and Boston is getting ugly.
According to Ken Rosenthal, Martinez, 30, has reached a point where he’d rather sign somewhere else.
"The industry-wide assumption remains that free-agent outfielder J.D. Martinez will land in Boston, but the Red Sox cannot be sure.Martinez, 30, has yet to accept Boston’s reported five-year, $125 million offer. He is telling people in Miami that he is willing to hold out until he gets his price, as first reported by FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. He also is telling people that he is fed up with the Red Sox’s inflexibility and would rather sign with another club, sources say.Perhaps Martinez is simply posturing. It’s difficult to imagine why he would be upset with a team reportedly willing to give him a nine-figure deal. It’s also difficult to imagine him saying no if the Red Sox improved their offer—which the team, sensing an absence of competition, evidently does not feel compelled to do.The Red Sox, though, must at least consider the possibility that they will not sign Martinez. Dave Dombrowski, the team’s president of baseball operations, told The Athletic on Tuesday he will continue to take a wait-and-see approach, citing the potential for other opportunities to arise due to the slow-developing free-agent market—not simply opportunities with free agents, but also opportunities with trades."
For someone who is cashing in on a huge year that was spent in the National League for half the season, Martinez seems to be getting carried away, especially for a nearly nonexistent market.
The Boston Red Sox aren’t the New York Yankees — they don’t just toss around large contracts — and when they do, it usually doesn’t work out. A five-year, $125 million dollar deal would be the fifth most lucrative contract in Red Sox history, isn’t exactly a low-ball offer. In fact, many would argue it’s too much — just ask Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti.
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Pitchers and catchers report next week. It’s difficult to see another team swooping in and significantly upping Boston’s offer. Boras is using every rumor possible to drive up Martinez’s price, but every team in baseball knows no one will give him a seven-year deal.
Martinez has already struck a nerve with Boston’s media — who will eat you up — and now many fans are exasperated and exhausted at Martinez and Boras’s delusion. Boston needs Martinez, but not as much as Martinez needs the Boston.
Would Martinez make the Red Sox batting order significantly better?
But the Red Sox are already a very good team, and Martinez doesn’t make them an elite team. Adding Martinez still requires the Red Sox to jump on another power/star bat — whether that be trade or next year’s free agency. A five-year, $125 million dollar deal is an appropriate offer, especially given no other team can afford to pay Martinez more or longer than that.
The only reason the Red Sox are even here, is because they refused to give this money to Edwin Encarnacion last year. If the Red Sox were to miss out on Martinez’s services, it’s not the end of the world. Pack it up, Dombrowski. Let the young guys develop this year and assess the team at the trade deadline or after the season.
Next: Red Sox: Realistic goals for Christian Vazquez in 2018
It is undoubtedly smarter for the Red Sox to aggressively pursue Manny Machado or Bryce Harper next year and hand out the largest contract ever, than spend the fifth most lucrative deal in club history to someone who was cut four years ago.