What J.D. Martinez means for Boston Red Sox Opening Day roster


The Boston Red Sox finally got their man on Monday when they signed free agent J.D. Martinez. What does this mean for Opening Day hopefuls though?

Signing J.D. Martinez brings an obvious immediate boost to the lineup of the Boston Red Sox. They needed true home run power, and they got it. Not many are going to argue that this is a bad move simply because it was such a perfect fit.

Nevertheless, this does mean someone that was projected to make the Opening Day roster won’t be there in April. I’ll take a wild guess and say Martinez is better. However, someone’s out. Which means it’s time for a math lesson; because who doesn’t love math?

A 25-man roster consists of 25 players (crazy right). Of those 25, I’m a big fan of the 13/12 split. For American League teams that should almost always mean 13 hitters and 12 pitchers. This leaves a team with five starting pitchers and seven bullpen arms. J.D. Martinez doesn’t effect any pitching projections for obvious reasons.

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However, 13 hitters gives a team eight starting fielders and a starting designated hitter, with four players on the bench.

Boston has pretty clear cut starters, no one’s really fighting for a starting job at the moment. With Dustin Pedroia more-than-likely starting the year on the disabled list, Eduardo Nunez slides into second base.

Then you have the bench. With Martinez now on the team, Mitch Moreland and Hanley Ramirez will probably platoon first base, taking one of the four bench spots.

After that, there’s a backup catcher. The Martinez signing all but assures the Red Sox won’t start the season with three catchers, unless Swihart becomes a super-utility man. Let’s say that doesn’t happen though. That means either he or Sandy Leon takes the second bench spot.

With two bench spots left, the Red Sox need backup infield and outfield help. Brock Holt stays due to that. His ability to play anywhere combined with the team’s lack of options, makes him a great choice.

Finally, there’s Bryce Brentz. His power display in Triple-A last season can’t go unrewarded. If the Red Sox decide not to put him on the Opening Day roster, another team will snatch him up. He’s out of options and there’s zero chance Brentz would clear waivers. He takes the final spot as a backup outfielder.

This does however mean Marco Hernandez and Deven Marrero won’t be making the cut. Hernandez is fine, as he has options. Marrero doesn’t though. While his hitting isn’t great, he showed signs of life at the plate last season, and he’s a plus-plus defender. Another team will more-than-likely give him a shot.

Of course, nothing’s set in stone just yet. With Spring Training still ahead of us, it’s up to these players (and others) to prove whether they belong or not. A terrible March could result in the loss of a spot, a scorching-hot March could save a job.

Next: Breaking: Red Sox, J.D. Martinez agree to deal

In the end, Boston Red Sox fans will probably be saying goodbye to a familiar face. Not many will complain when they remember J.D. Martinez hit 45 home runs last year though.