Red Sox: Predicting Boston’s 2022 Opening Day staring lineup
Red Sox D.H.: J.D. Martinez
J.D. Martinez has been an absolute force since joining the Red Sox ahead of the 2018 season. The slugger had bounced around the league a bit with team after team seemingly giving up on him before he could fully put things together. Though his last two seasons in Boston haven’t been as dangerous as his first two, he did see a drastic resurgence in 2021.
Martinez showed trust in the Red Sox after winning the World Series with the club in 2018 by choosing to not exercise any of his opt-out clauses. He could’ve easily walked after each of the last three seasons but chose to remain in Boston and fight for the cause. He’s a fan favorite and clubhouse favorite as he balances having fun with a strong work ethic.
He’s now in his contract year and will be fighting for one final big payday as he’s on the back half of his career. Martinez will turn 35 before the season concludes and while he’s still putting up very strong numbers, his age will make teams wary of a big-money contract. luckily for him, the universal DH opens his services league-wide and he can spend the twilight of his career smacking bombs and hanging out on the bench, see Ortiz, David.
Despite the lockout, J.D. has been working hard in the lab perfecting the science that is hitting ahead of the 2022 campaign. I don’t want to dismiss a return after this season but if we know anything about Chaim Bloom it’s that he doesn’t often sign older players and he has no worries about trading those with expiring contracts.
J.D. checks both of those boxes and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him moved at the deadline. He has played a massive part in the success of this team in recent years and especially in 2018 and 2021. Even in 2019, a year the team tripped right out of the gates, he crushed it at the plate and did everything he could. Enjoy every chance you get to see him in a Red Sox uniform this season, we may not have many left.