Red Sox options for handling J.D. Martinez opt-out situation
By Sean Penney
The Boston Red Sox will explore all of their options with J.D. Martinez, depending on whether or not he opts-out of his current contract.
J.D. Martinez will make a decision in the near future that will have drastic ramifications on how the Boston Red Sox approach the offseason.
Martinez has the option to opt-out of the five-year deal he signed prior to the 2018 season and test free agency again. If he doesn’t exercise the opt-out clause, Martinez will be paid $23.75 million in 2020 with the ability to opt-out after either of the final two years of the deal, both of which would see his salary fall to $19.35 million.
Boston’s front office is in the process of a regime change in the wake of Dave Dombrowski’s dismissal. It was Dombrowski who insisted on protecting the club with the opt-out clauses due to concerns with a Lisfranc foot injury Martinez suffered earlier in his career. The injury history made him hesitant to offer a five-year deal so Dombrowski renegotiated the contract to include the mutually beneficial opt-outs. They give Martinez a chance to cash in again while Dombrowski probably hoped the slugger would test the market a few years into the deal so that the Red Sox wouldn’t have to commit the full five years.
The four executives who are now running Boston’s baseball operations department until a new general manager is appointed may view the situation differently. One of those executives, assistant GM Eddie Romero, isn’t ruling out any options when it comes to Martinez.
"“I think all options have to be put on the table,” said Romero, per MassLive’s Chris Cotillo. “We want to see where J.D. is at. We’ll sit down with him at some point and I’m sure we’ll have discussions with him before then. But J.D. is an offensive force and incredible consistent and it rubs off on the other players on the team, what he can do. We would love to have J.D. back. Among the other things on the agenda, that’s a big one also.”"