Red Sox Rumors: What’s going on with JD Martinez’s free agency?

Division Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Two
Division Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Two / Harry How/GettyImages

Despite having a great year for the Dodgers at the plate, former Boston Red Sox fan-favorite JD Martinez is still a free agent.

In 2023, Martinez batted .271/.321/.572 and logged 117 hits, 33 home runs and 103 RBI. The righty earned his third-consecutive All-Star nod and, overall, performed well in his age-35 campaign.

Many teams have been linked to Martinez this offseason, but none have pulled the trigger yet. The Mets are a popular choice for Martinez's services. Despite its batting order being heavy on righties, New York lacks consistent power that can hit alongside Pete Alonso. It's a contract year for the first baseman, and if the Mets don't choose to build around him, he may just walk away.

It's understandable that the Mets are reluctant to spend, however. After signing Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander to ridiculously expensive deals, the team still didn't compete in its division. But the Dodgers signed Martinez for just $10 million last winter — New York could absolutely swing such a deal if it wanted to.

The market for former Red Sox JD Martinez has been slow, but his bat suits many lineups

MLB Insider and USA Today reporter Bob Nightengale has predicted that Martinez will land with the Giants. After missing out on Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, San Francisco has a lot of money it was planning to spend still burning a hole in the front office's pocket.

The Giants could use a powerful bat in their lineup, and although Martinez wouldn't be the most versatile choice for their outfield, his offense could make up for it, especially after they lost Joc Pederson to the Arizona Diamondbacks (also once a possible destination for Martinez). He's also a better designated hitter candidate than JD Davis or Wilmer Flores.

Who else? MLB insider and New York Post columnist Jon Heyman just won't let the Red Sox go. Despite piles of evidence to the contrary, he believes Boston has a big move on its radar.

Heyman hasn't ruled out a potential reunion between Martinez and Boston, and since the slugger has earned four All-Star appearances with the Red Sox, many fans are probably happy to hear it.

Martinez wields the right-handed power bat the Sox need. And if he could come at a reasonable price of ~$10 million per year based on his 2023 contract with the Dodgers, a deal would make sense.

Martinez doesn't have the defensive skill that the Red Sox need when their other left field option is Masataka Yoshida. But with so few right-handed power hitters remaining on the market, Martinez could end up being Boston's best choice.

It's rather shocking that the market for the veteran slugger has been so slow. Martinez's bat could play in a lot of parks and he could suit a lot of teams' lineups well, especially those hungry for power, such as the Guardians or Angels.

If Boston doesn't end up signing Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall or another righty heavy-hitter, making a play for a reunion with Martinez would be a welcomed idea.

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