Five days after the World Series ends, MLB teams can extend a Qualifying Offer to any impending free agent they’ve had on the team since Opening Day and who hasn’t received one in the past.
This shouldn’t come as a total shock to anyone who tuned in for the front office’s end-of-season press conference, during which Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom said that ‘some’ qualifying offers “are very obvious decisions.”
Martinez, who turned 35 on August 21, had a pretty astounding power outage this season. After hitting 28 homers and an MLB-leading, career-high 42 doubles in 2021, the slugger fell apart this year. While he set a new career-high in doubles for the second year in a row with 43, he only hit 16 home runs. The latter number is also somewhat misleading, as he hit his last five round-trippers between September 20 and the final game of the regular season on October 5. By then the Sox were already out of the running.
At this point, it seems unlikely the Sox will actually pursue a full-time replacement for Martinez, both because DHs aren’t exactly easy to find and because they have some internal options. Eric Hosmer wouldn’t replicate Martinez’s power, but he only costs the league minimum. Triston Casas could DH, though they likely want him to hone his craft at first base. And of course, the Sox will have even more options if they come to their senses and pay Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers.
It had been hard enough finding someone to fill David Ortiz’s shoes, but Martinez did a pretty great job for most of his five seasons in Boston. Whoever steps up to the plate next will have a tall order to fill.