5 trade deadline destinations for Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez

BOSTON, MA - JULY 24: J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox against the New York Yankees during the ninth inning at Fenway Park on July 24, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 24: J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox against the New York Yankees during the ninth inning at Fenway Park on July 24, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /
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Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez
BOSTON, MA – JUNE 20: J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after hitting an RBI single during the first inning of a game against the Detroit Tigers on June 20, 2022 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Red Sox could trade Martinez to the San Diego Padres

The National League finally embracing the DH has opened more possibilities for a defensively-challenged veteran like Martinez. The Padres aren’t shy about swinging big trades in an effort to keep up with the juggernaut at the top of their division. San Diego is rumored to be a potential frontrunner in the Juan Soto sweepstakes. If they miss out on Soto, Martinez would be an appealing fallback plan.

The Padres hopelessly trail the Los Angeles Dodgers by 12 games in the NL West but they hold the second spot in a tight NL Wild Card race. With star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. nearing a return from a broken wrist, San Diego might view themselves as a strong contender with a few deadline upgrades.

Designated hitter is one spot where the Padres could use an upgrade. They rank 25th in the majors with 87 wRC+ and -0.6 WAR from that position.

Luke Voit has been a disappointment in his first season in San Diego, hitting .222 with a .722 OPS. After leading the league with 22 homers during the shortened 2020 season, Voit’s home run total was cut in half last year despite an identical number of at-bats to the previous season. He currently has 12 home runs in 78 games this year with a career-low .408 SLG.

Martinez would provide an upgrade to an offense that has been middle of the pack this season but could trend toward elite by adding him plus the return of Tatis.

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