J.D. Martinez is ready to rake for the Red Sox in 2022
Red Sox Nation we haven’t had much of anything to get excited about since the owners initiated the lockout but last night something came across my social timeline. Our guy, Julio Daniel Martinez, is in the batting cage and he’s getting ready for the 2022 season. In what will be the final year of his contract with Boston, the slugger is aiming to have a career year before free agency arrives.
Since arriving at Fenway Park in 2018, J.D. Martinez has been an absolute force for the Red Sox and has been one of the best offensive players in all of baseball. He’s been relatively quiet since the offseason began but last night he took to his Instagram to let the fans know he’s not taking any days off. The big Floridian has been enjoying his time away from baseball but it’s clear that he has his sights set on the 2022 campaign.
As I said above, this is Martinez’s final season with the Red Sox and he’ll be looking to make as much noise as possible. While we have no idea what the next CBA will include, early whispers have the Universal DH as being an easy concession from the owners. If that action does go through, I can’t see a world where Chaim Bloom gives J.D. another contract. It’s more likely than not that the DH will be playing in a new uniform when the 2023 season kicks off.
The lockout is a massive factor in what type of season we can expect from him and there’s some history that backs that up. When the 2020 season was started, then stopped, then started again thanks to COVID we saw J.D. struggle greatly. At the time I scoffed at his excuse of the changes to the schedule throwing off his rhythm but after seeing his 2021 efforts it’s clear he knows what he’s talking about.
J.D. had one final opt-out built into his contract after the 2021 season and if things had gone differently, I think he may have taken it. However, with the Red Sox coming within two games of a return to the Fall Classic, the big man has gone all-in with the club for one final season in 2022. His bat was a big reason why we were so close to another World Series berth and I think that may light a fire under him with another run at a ring within reach.
He posted a strong .286/.349/.518 line with 28 bombs, 99 RBI, and an MLB leading 42 doubles. It wasn’t quite what we saw from him back in 2018 and 2019 but he still notched his third All-Star nod in a Red Sox uniform this past season. I’ll never miss a chance to thank Martinez for what he’s done for this team since signing on the dotted line and I’d love to see him finish his career here, but again, that may be easier said than done.
I’m going to keep my eyes set firmly on 2022 for right now and seeing J.D. in the batting cage connecting with pitches has me excited for what he might do this year. We all know how players tend to find that extra gear when a new contract is on the line and with the possibility of a new world ahead of him, Julio is going to wreck the rest of the league this season.
The Red Sox far exceeded any and all projections that faced them going into this past season and that may further light a fire under this roster. There are a handful of players approaching free agency and this could very well be their best chance at earning a World Championship. For J.D. Martinez, he has a lot on the line in 2022 and I can’t wait to see him cranking baseballs to Lansdowne on a nightly basis.