Red Sox options for handling J.D. Martinez opt-out situation
By Sean Penney
If Martinez doesn’t opt-out, there’s a chance he could be traded in order to free room in the budget to bolster the pitching staff while staying below the tax line.
There’s no replacing his bat in the lineup but Boston still has enough talent to remain among the league leaders in runs scored without Martinez. The emergence of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers should prevent the offense from suffering the power drought that plagued them in the wake of David Ortiz‘s retirement, which necessitated the need to splurge on Martinez.
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The trade market would be limited, preventing the Red Sox from receiving anything close to fair value in return. Most National League teams won’t have any interest in a player who should primarily be a designated hitter, particularly as he ages. His salary rules out most of the small market teams. Any team trading for Martinez would have to consider it a rental considering he still has opt-outs after each of the next two years. They won’t give up prized prospects for a player who could bolt after one year.
Martinez will presumably want some assurances that he won’t be traded if he decides to opt-in, which could complicate matters more unless they can find a scenario that works for all parties involved.