Red Sox: J.D. Martinez remaining with club for the 2020 season
The Boston Red Sox received good news today as J.D. Martinez announced that he would not be opting-out and will be returning to the club for this season.
With bated breath, all of Red Sox Nation has been waiting for J.D. Martinez to make the decision on whether or not he would be returning to Boston for 2020. Well, we got that answer just after 5 pm that the slugger would be making Fenway Park his home for next season.
Jon Heyman of the MLB Network first reported that Martinez would be staying in Boston for the upcoming season, with ESPN’s Jeff Passan confirming. This gives the Red Sox a massive boost as they begin their offseason as they won’t have to go shopping for a new DH. Though Chaim Bloom and the front office will be doing whatever they can to shave the payroll, this is a positive.
We had heard that the Red Sox hadn’t offered Martinez a new contract to keep him in Boston for the longterm. Per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the Sox didn’t make any changes to J.D.’s current agreement and his salary and terms for 2020 and beyond will remain the same. He will earn $23.75M for 2020, $19.375M for 2021, and $19.375M for 2022. Martinez also retains his ability to opt-out after the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
By choosing to not opt-out and remain with Boston it feels like a win-win for both the player and team. J.D. gets to play another season with a group that he has become very familiar with and has a great relationship with. And the organization has locked down a top-level hitter for at least this season, with the possibility of re-working the deal going forward.
Martinez has expressed his interest in drawing up a new contract that would allow him to remain in Boston for the remainder of his career. Not only has he embraced the city in his short time with the Red Sox but he himself has been embraced by the community and fans. I’m not sure if that is something the club will want to entertain, especially with the planned budget cuts, but it may be something Bloom will want to look at.
Having Martinez remain with the Sox could also bolster the team’s chances of re-signing Mookie Betts when he hits free agency next winter. It will be close to impossible for the franchise to retain both with the desired salary cuts but it may not be out of the realm of possibility.
If a new agreement for Martinez could be drawn up that would give him the desired salary spread over more years, that could allow the wiggle room to sign Betts.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
After bouncing around the league a bit, three teams in seven years, it feels like Martinez has found a home with the Red Sox. He was named an All-Star for both seasons that he’s been in Boston and was a major reason the team won the World Series in 2018. There was an interesting amount of chatter that he was having an “off” year yet his numbers were still fantastic.
Through the 2019 season, J.D. would earn a .304/.383/.557/.939 stat line with 105 RBI on 36 homers. Those are numbers that any manager would want in their nightly lineup.
Yes, they were down from the World Series campaign but that was the definition of a storybook year for everyone in a Red Sox uniform. His efforts this season were still above his career average and with his work ethic, I wouldn’t be surprised if they climbed in 2020.
With him staying the front office will have a difficult task of fixing the gaps in the starting rotation and bullpen with a tight budget. But now they don’t have to go shopping for a replacement that could force them to spend more and bring in a strange new personality to an already cohesive unit.
The Red Sox are definitely a better team with J.D. Martinez on the roster. Though they will get his services for 2020 there’s no guarantee they’ll catch his favor in the next opportunities to walk. Either way, Boston wants to contend next season and having Martinez opt-in gives them a chance at doing so. The bottom line is that having J.D. in the lineup every day means far more to the Red Sox than having his salary freed up for someone else.