Breaking: Red Sox, J.D. Martinez agree to deal
The Boston Red Sox and J.D. Martinez have finally agreed to a deal. The Red Sox have finally made the power splash everyone was waiting for.
The Boston Red Sox and J.D. Martinez have agreed to a five-year, $110 million dollar deal with a player opt out option after two years, per ESPN’s Pedro Gomez.
The MLB offseason has been headlined by what the Boston Red Sox will do to counter the New York Yankees’ colossal acquirement of Giancarlo Stanton. The battle between Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski and agent Scott Boras has been one for the ages. How much would he Red Sox be willing to pay for Boras’ client, J.D. Martinez?
Despite the initial reported amount of $125 million back in December, Dombrowski got Martinez for $15 million cheaper than Boras wanted. It seems that money wasn’t the main issue between both sides, it was more over the length of the contract that the two business alpha males traded blows over. Dombrowski wanted five years, Boras wanted seven.
Dombrowski said the Red Sox would be ok without Martinez and could look elsewhere for other options, while Boras said the Red Sox couldn’t live without the 30 year old.
Martinez was tired of the whole situation and just wanted to be signed — even if it meant to another team.
Alas, after a grueling contract negotiation, Martinez will join the Red Sox lineup as the offseason power addition they so badly longed for. Last season’s power problem suddenly doesn’t seem so bleak heading into 2018. The projected lineup could look something like this:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia/Eduardo Nunez 2B
J.D Martinez DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
It’s impossible to predict whose numbers will replicate from last year, bounce back or diminish. But on paper, we’ve seen the players on this ball club scrape the surface of potential. Most players in this starting lineup have power — how much remains to be seen — but if healthy, this well-rounded lineup can hang with the Yankees or Astros.
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Those who don’t agree with this signing can Criticize the Red Sox about this move, but the fact remains: Dave Dombrowski got his man for the third consecutive offseason. This time, he did it only on his terms.
However, there’s a lot of work to be done, starting with the on-field product of 2018. Enough with the drama. Enough with the lack of leadership and dislikability. It’s time for the Red Sox to go win games and make a serious post season run. A cute win, dance, repeat slogan with another first-round exit won’t cut it this year.
Furthermore, the Yankees have one of the deadliest lineups in MLB history, and have serious interest in both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper in next year’s free agency. While Red Sox fans can rejoice about the acquisition of Martinez today, Dombrowski still has work to do next offseason to further level the playing field in the American League for years to come.
Not only do the Red Sox have some of their own players to pay next year — and upcoming years — they should absolutely not bow out of the bidding war for Machado or Harper next year just because they signed Martinez.
Is this signing a good win-now move for Boston?
Did it fill a need?
Did the Red Sox absolutely have to do this?
They easily could’ve packed it up for the offseason, stuck with what the guys they had from last year, re-sign Kimbrel, and extend others after this season. Then, regroup and go all-in for Machado or Harper in free agency. It would force the Red Sox to make some tough decisions however. Boston would likely part ways with Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr after the season.
Next: Red Sox: What pairing Christian Vazquez with Chris Sale could mean
In an era where power is crucial to a team’s success, adding Martinez’s bat does allow Boston to compete with New York and Houston, but not match them power for power.
This is a good signing at a great price by Boston’s front office, but don’t try to convince fans Martinez is the only long-term solution.