Red Sox need to avoid signing free agent J.D. Martinez

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

Opinions change as facts change on the Boston Red Sox need to avoid J.D. Martinez.  The recent outburst by Martinez is a red flag warning sign.

Gashing of the teeth, finger-pointing, dismay, all accompanied the Boston Red Sox lack of supplying a formidable bat for the 2017 season.  Even David Ortiz – much to the ire of the Blue Jays – anointed Edwin Encarnacion heir apparent to Papi’s DH slot. Was it a mistake not hiring a bat?  Check the stats regarding the drop in runs scored.

In business and personal issues when you make a mistake, it is best to attempt to correct it.  Get into all that ethically and moral obligation song and dance about “doing the right thing.”  The Red Sox have fervently attempted to do so if one believes the fact Boston has offered J.D. Martinez a five-year and $125 million contract.

Opinions change as facts change and my desire to have Martinez has waned considerably. Granted, Martinez is a legitimate hitter that has both power and average.  In the last four seasons, Martinez has averaged  .300 while belting the ball into various bleachers.  The man can hit, and the man can’t field.

The Red Sox have the best defensive outfield in major league baseball if you go by Ultimate Zone Rating (23.0). For Martinez, last season his UZR was -7.7. And he has requested to play the corner outfield. Fielding metrics for Martinez stand out like a quarter size zit on the nose of the prom queen the day of the dance.  But there is always DH.

Can Martinez be a DH? The sample is small with 140 at-bats, but the average of .250 is just a mild warning indicator.  Not everyone can DH. Some players need to be “involved” in the game and DH does intrinsically limit that. But that defense?

The usual spot for the defensively challenged in the Red Sox outfield is left field, which provides a nice protective barrier for the errant miss on a grounder or a gap line drive.  After Manny Ramirez and Hanley Ramirez, why good old J.D. would look just fine – for a week or so.

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The defense is one issue, but the potential bat certainly has far greater leverage and despite the money, the potential length of contract and below average defense then Martinez clearly falls in the needs category in wants and needs. That has been my opinion and that generally follows the path of the media and RSN.  No more.  Forget it. I say a resounding no. Look elsewhere, Boston, or hope for the best.

The recent snit by Martinez gave a quick insight into a personality that I’d avoid like the drinking water in Flint. Was it frustration?  Probably so since I imagine Martinez expected a line up for his services like a free steak offering at McCormick & Schmidt’s. And that has not happened. Anyways, Martinez expressed “frustration” with Boston.  Really? That was followed by the inevitable backtrack.

This is a neon warning sign for me. I’d pass on this guy quicker than a taco from a food truck in Guadalajara. The very last thing needed is a potentially petulant player in a city notorious for fan and media behaviors designed to aggravate to the nth degree.  Ironclad underwear is a must for a Boston athlete that gets far too much negative news. We eat our young rather quickly.

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A Martinez in a slump that decides to treat a ball in the outfield like Maradona treats a soccer ball will not bode well.  The chorus in left field may force an MLB equipment change to sound protecting earphones. No, folks, I now look at a Martinez signing as the next Carl Crawford or Pablo Sandoval.

Best to just suck it up and hope the rest of the lineup gets a wee bit more energized.