Photo Credit: FanRag Sports
It took long enough, but J.D. Martinez is finally headed to the Boston Red Sox where he will receive a contract of 5 years for $110 million, with two opt-outs in the deal. Martinez has the choice to opt-out after the second or third year of the contract. The first three years of the contract will be worth $75 million, so $25 million a year. As each offseason day passed, it was practically another day being added to the stare down between Dave Dombrowski and Scott Boras. It was just a matter of time before one of them would budge and give in. We heard 5 years, for $125 million. We also heard 5 years for $100 million. You know, anything but the 7 years for $210 million that Martinez was asking for.
Throughout the whole negotiation process, it felt like the Red Sox (specifically Dave Dombrowski) were in complete control and they most certainly were. When you’re the only team really being linked to a player, you have the luxury of waiting to make an effort against overpaying for a player. Especially for a player who really only offers one side of the game, that being incredibly good offense, but lackluster defense. The Arizona Diamondbacks were in all along, but I’m not sure anyone was taking them seriously because they just don’t have the payroll right now to take on a player like J.D. Martinez with the amount of dollars that would be attached to him, unless they unloaded a big contract like Zack Greinke’s.
Say what you want about J.D. Martinez asking for too much money, (which he probably was) but his 2017 season was spectacular. Martinez had a batting average of .303, to go with 45 home runs and 104 RBIs. The power is there, the average is there, and he’s a proven run producer. The only bad part that comes with J.D. Martinez is the horrible defense, which was already mentioned above, but that shouldn’t be a factor in Boston. The Red Sox already have one of the best outfields in all of baseball that includes Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts. Question is: Does J.D. Martinez want to DH? I mean, he doesn’t really have a choice. The Red Sox value defense in the outfield, which they should. Adding Martinez to that, would likely mean a Jackie Bradley Jr. trade, which wouldn’t make sense either.
Photo Credit: Bleacher Report
J.D. Martinez will slot into the designated hitter spot in the lineup where the Red Sox hope he can bring the same elite power he showed in 2017. After all, the Red Sox were dead last in home runs in the American League. The power should heavily improve with the addition of J.D. Martinez, along with a full year of Rafael Devers and a hungry Hanley Ramirez, who knows he was awful last year, and he’s also probably starting to realize he’s getting on all these fans nerves with these off years when the team needs him the most. With the addition of J.D. Martinez, Mitch Moreland and Hanley Ramirez will now split time at first base, but it’s fair to point out, if Hanley Ramirez is hitting like Hanley Ramirez he’s going to be playing every day.
Now that J.D. Martinez has joined the lineup, their lineup will be one of the best in all of baseball. There’s youth, there’s a nice balance of contact and power, and they don’t strike out. The Red Sox have a lead off man in Mookie Betts who can do it all from both sides of the ball, they have Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts who can provide contact, plus the 20+ home run power along with some steals. Also, there’s Hanley Ramirez and Rafael Devers who can hit 30 home runs in the lineup as well. Point is, J.D. Martinez is joining and offensive group that was already going to be pretty solid, so where will DH J.D. Martinez fit in the lineup?
Here’s a look at a potential lineup we may see on Opening Day:
1. RF Mookie Betts
2. LF Andrew Benintendi
3. DH J.D. Martinez
4. 1B Hanley Ramirez
5. SS Xander Bogaerts
6. 3B Rafael Devers
7. CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
8. C Christian Vazquez
9. 2B Eduardo Nunez
No matter where J.D. Martinez is going to be batting, he’s going to literally have one job. HIT THE BALL OUT OF THE BALLPARK. Yeah, that’s it. The batting average will be there, but the home runs will be most important. We’ve only heard for two years straight, how are the Red Sox going to replace the power of David Ortiz? Well you have it now in J.D. Martinez, now we just need results. It’s going to be another fun year in Beantown, this team will be hungry, and I’m sure they all know that there has been some unfinished business these past few years in the first round of the playoffs. The Red Sox have good starting pitching, they have a good bullpen, and now they have a good productive power bat to go in the lineup. Alex Cora and the Red Sox seem ready and set to make a run at another World Series Championship. Welcome to Boston, J.D. Martinez. It’s GO TIME.