The Boston Red Sox held a press conference Monday morning to introduce their newest free agent acquisition, J.D. Martinez.
We can all finally take a sigh of relief. J.D. Martinez is officially a member of the Boston Red Sox – finally!
The team held a press conference at Jet Blue Park Monday morning to introduce their prized free agent acquisition. The 5-year, $110 million deal that was agreed upon nearly a week ago was delayed while both sides carefully constructed the language of the contract.
While Martinez is currently healthy, X-Rays during his physical revealed a Lisfranc condition in his right foot. The issue stems from an injury that sidelined Martinez through the first six weeks of last season. His foot has sufficiently healed – blasting 45 home runs and leading the majors in slugging last year is proof enough of that. However, there were lingering concerns regarding the potential long-term effects.
The framework of the contract remains essentially the same with a few tweaks. The deal now allows Martinez to opt out after the second, third or fourth year rather than the originally expected two opt-outs.
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Additional language has been built into the contract to protect the team in the event of an injury pertaining to the pre-existing issue with Martinez’ foot. The Red Sox will be protected if Martinez spends 60 days on the DL in one season or 120 cumulative days missed due to this foot condition in the fourth or fifth year of the contract. There’s a strong possibility that if he remains healthy, Martinez will opt out before those terms would ever be necessary.
It took some extra time to hash out all the details but in the end, Martinez has a deal that seems fair to both sides. Now that the negotiations are in the rearview mirror he can focus on baseball. Martinez talked about joining a historic franchise and being part of a lineup that should put plenty of runs on the board.
"“I’m expecting hopefully to do a lot of damage,” Martinez said. “That’s the game plan coming in, but as far as the Red Sox lineup goes, its’ a strong lineup, it’s a good lineup. I’ve been looking at them, checking them out, obviously playing against them in Detroit, they’re guys with a lot of speed, guys who get on base, guys who really move around the bags and produce runs very quickly and I’m happy to be a part of that now.”"
The wait to officially introduce Martinez means he’ll join the team with the spring exhibition schedule already underway. He’s a bit behind schedule but still has over a month to ramp up for the regular season.
The process took much longer than anyone anticipated but Martinez will surely be worth the wait.