Red Sox: 2020 may be the final season for J.D. Martinez in Boston
The Red Sox finally have their DH in J.D. Martinez
It’s been the better part of a decade since Red Sox legend David Ortiz decided to hang up his cleats. Since that fateful day, Boston has been searching for their next slugging DH, and they finally found him. J.D. Martinez came to Beantown ahead fo the 2018 campaign and has become the powerhouse that Red Sox Nation has been waiting for.
In the two years, he’s been in Boston, Martinez has added a pair of All-Star selections to his name as well as a Top-5 MVP nod. Oh yeah, Flaco also led the league in RBI in 2018 with 130. A few years in Houston followed by a handful in Detroit and a cup of coffee in Arizona sums up Martinez’s career to this point. It wasn’t until he joined the Red Sox that he seemingly put all of the puzzle pieces together and fully hit his potential.
So what should we expect from him in 2020? Great question! With Mookie Betts now out of the lineup he maybe even more dangerous than before. You see, having the duo on the roster meant pitchers had to keep an eye on both, but there’s a new problem. In 2019, both Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers absolutely broke out of the shadows and became superstars.
Now the opposition has to worry about a three-headed dragon instead of two. Dividing the attention, even more, will allow J.D. to absolutely smash. Add in the fact that we’re going to have a shortened season, pitchers will have little to no time to make corrections. 2020 is going to be a wild season and I really feel that Martinez is going to post some monster numbers, which leads me to the issue at hand.
The days are numbered for the Red Sox and J.D. Martinez
As part of the original agreement for the 2020 season, this year will count for service time no matter how many games are played. What that means is that whether we see 100 games, 80 games, or no games at all, J.D. will be able to opt-out of his contract come the winter. We all knew that this day was coming ever since he signed that ridiculous contract that Dave Dombrowski offered him.
Like, come on man, how’re you letting an elite hitter like Martinez walk so easily? The slugger mentioned during last season and even winter that he’d be open to a restructuring that would keep him with the Red Sox for the long-term. However, no talks occurred, at least that we know if, to achieve that goal. Unless Chaim Bloom and Scott Boras can work something out in the next few months, we’re likely seeing the end of J.D.’s time in Boston.
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The DH is making it’s way to the NL whether or not the purists like it which will open the door for Martinez to the entire league. Even with the fiscal destruction that the coronavirus has caused, there will be some money out there waiting for the slugger if he chooses to test the market. Don’t forget, Mookie will also be free-agent so the pair could work a two-pronged attack on some unsuspecting owner.
It would be a massive hit to Boston’s offense to see the big-man go, and I’d personally hate to see it, but this is a business after all and you gotta get paid. When Bloom was brought here he was given the painful task of shedding payroll and resetting the CBT penalty marker.
As long as we get some games in 2020 that task will be complete, which means the Red Sox will have some serious cash to spend. Despite losing revenue with this season, John Henry is still a billionaire, let’s not forget that.
Martinez has made it clear that he loves this team and city and wants to stay here. But with a brand new world of suitors out there on the horizon, it may be hard to keep his eyes on Fenway. It took the Red Sox a handful of years to finally find the right guy to fill the shoes of David Ortiz, but sadly I think his days in Boston are numbered.