The Red Sox are in on several offensive targets, such as Manny Machado. With “the killer B’s” underwhelming 2017, Boston needs a boost at the plate.
So, the organization has been mentioned a ton to conjure up what has been a frozen stove. The club shouldn’t put all their eggs in one basket and hope that most of the guys can bounce back.
Boston does have that youth factor in the background. Getting John Farrell out of the clubhouse is a plus, due to miscommunication issues and the David Price incident. The manager seemed like more a mouthpiece for ownership anyway. Now, the team has an energetic, less-MLB experienced manager, named Alex Cora.
The former major leaguer is a younger presence that should be able to connect with the young core. He is a great communicator and a leader, which is a vast improvement when the team seemed to be clouded without a known man of the ship. With him in the clubhouse, it looks like everyone will have a better attitude.
One player the Red Sox have been all over is slugging outfielder J.D. Martinez. Unfortunately for many suitors, he is a Scott Boras client, which means patience is a virtue.
The Red Sox are pressing for Martinez
A couple years ago, this year’s hottest free agent wasn’t even worth a roster spot. The Houston Astros released him on March 22nd, 2014. The team at the time had a stacked farm system, and with that comes cuts – Martinez was the most notable.
In his last season with the Astros (2013), he hit .250 with 7 homers and 36 RBIs in 310 ABs.
A big problem for him was strikeouts. That year, his K% was at a sweltering 26.5. Fortunately for him, he benefited from playing with one of the best hitters in the modern era – Miguel Cabrera. The outfielder revitalized career with Detroit. He went out with a bang in 2017 by clubbing 45 home runs and knocking in 104 RBI’s with the Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Now, Martinez cannot be had for the league minimum. Super agent Boras and him are reportedly seeking a 7-year, $210 million deal. Boston is obviously waiting them out, as well as having interest in Machado.
The Orioles third baseman is an unlikely candidate because of his remorse for the organization, and also that he will cost major talent, when he could just be signed next offseason.
$210 million is a lot of money. The BoSox aren’t a team that spends lightly, but they shouldn’t overreact to the Yankees acquisitions. Boston needs money for Betts’ / Bogaerts’ extensions, as well as change for next year’s star plastered FA market. The team already has over $100 million committed to players not even contributing, such as Pablo Sandoval and Rusney Castillo.
So, what should a realistic signing look like for Martinez?
There is a very good chance that it doesn’t go seven years, considering the slugger is already 31. They don’t need to be paying a player who is going into his decline an insane amount of cash. With that said, the outfielder has been worth $108.1 million dollars over his MLB career. This year alone his value was $30.6 mil.
Boras and Co. have every reason to be asking that high, considering Martinez’s career year, but will they get that? Probably not. There aren’t enough suitors out there, and very few teams have interest in adding a mega-deal with the luxury tax overhead. A realistic length of a deal should be 5 years, since Martinez will be starting to decline then. $25 mil per year seems to low for him, with the bar being set high.
My estimate is a 5-year, $140 million deal with incentives plus a player opt-out after the third year. He should get 500k each for a batting title, (x) amount of plate appearances, etc. The reason for the opt-out is this: the Red Sox don’t need another bad contract on the books and Martinez can pursue a larger contract if he thinks he can get one.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale recently reported that JD Martinez has an outstanding 5 year deal with a year amount of $20 – 25 million.
This aligns with my estimation and proves that Dave Dombrowski has been wise not to bid against himself.
The team must be wise to add important pieces, while retaining enough cap space to retain their budding stars. Adding Martinez would be a much needed move that adds security for down the line.
The front office is confident that the youth will step up, but you can’t solely rely on that.
That’s why signing JD would be a smart move, albeit risky with the wallet.