The Boston Red Sox could find themselves without their slugging DH after this season. Luckily for them, he has his heart set on Fenway Park.
The Red Sox and J.D. Martinez have been a marriage made in heaven up to this point. The power-house slugger has acclimated quickly to Boston and has become a major piece of the successful machine the organization has built. But sometimes marriages come to an end and when this season concludes we may be seeing the two go their separate ways.
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This upcoming offseason will bring a scenario that can change the path of the Red Sox for the foreseeable future. Martinez will have his first opportunity to opt-out of his contract and test the free market. Boston has big deals already in the books with the extensions for Chris Sale and Xander Bogaerts and should be planning an approach for soon to be free agent Mookie Betts.
J.D. is a piece that the Red Sox can’t afford to lose, there’s no way around it. Even if he’s in a cold spell he tends to still be one of the best hitters in the game. Just the threat that he offers at the plate is enough to want him in the lineup each night. Martinez has made it well known that Boston is a city and an organization that he loves and wants to see his playing does out with.
"“100%,” Martinez said when asked if he wanted to play the rest of his career in Boston. “Boston has been my favorite team since I was a kid. I’ve always dreamt of being there. I’ve loved the family side, the way they treat their players and the way they act. It’s a first-class organization and obviously I’d like to be a part of it for the rest of my career. But that’s not really up to me, in a sense.”"
When J.D. says “in a sense,” he isn’t wrong and this is where his contract can become tricky. Though he has the chance to opt-out, the Red Sox have their own chances at separation if J.D. misses enough time due to a previous Lisfranc foot injury between 2019-2020. The clause is dependent on the foot injury recurring but doesn’t focus on any other injuries Martinez may accrue.
So both sides have their chances to part ways though J.D. has a much easier exit strategy if he so chooses to use it. Martinez played a major role in the Red Sox raising their fourth World Series banner in 15 years and finished in the top-4 of the MVP voting. HIs two seasons in Boston have been the most productive and successful of his career.
So it comes down to whether or not J.D. feels he can find a bigger payday out in free agency. A factor that could come into play in not only the decision but any future deals will be the age of Martinez as he’ll be 32 before the season ends. Though he is still producing great numbers age for some reason will always play a role when it comes to contracts in sports. And his next deal very well may be his last contract depending on the length.
I feel that there will be some resolution to the deal and J.D. will see his career out in Boston. Red Sox Nation has embraced him like one of our own and he has reciprocated that sentiment. Martinez’ agent Scott Boras made it pretty clear that the decision will be between the Sox and J.D. to make.
"“I think its largely J.D. and the Red Sox’s choice,” Boras said. “We designed the contract to see how a guy would do over a couple of years in Boston. Then he can take a look and determine. They won a world championship, he’s had two MVP-type seasons and is a two-time All-Star. I think it has gone really well for both."
The Red Sox and J.D. Martinez have been a great pairing over the last season and a half and seem to be stronger than ever. With Boston looking to make a charge towards the postseason in the second half they’ll need J.D to keep his bat hot. Both will have to decide if their futures will be connected or if they will go their separate ways. If Boston wants to keep putting banners up in Fenway Park, having J.D. Martinez in the lineup each night can make that a reality.