Photo Credit: Boston Herald
The biggest talk of the 2017-18 offseason for the Red Sox has been JD Martinez.
Red Sox fans considered Stanton for a while, but watched that ship sail to the Bronx.
The Red Sox have a clear need for an upgrade in the power department as they were last in the AL in home runs with 168. The loss of David Ortiz was a huge factor, but that can’t be a long-term excuse.
Papi changed the whole lineup and the way guys were pitched to. Adding a presence like JD Martinez could regain some protection for hitters in the middle of the order, such as Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez.
Martinez hit 45 home runs and 29 in just half a season after he got traded to Arizona.
MUST SEE: JD Martinez hits 4 HRs in tonight’s game against Dodgers!! Ties a major league record. pic.twitter.com/TTIWRqnjzH
— Dugout Nation (@DugoutNation) September 5, 2017
The primary hold-up is that JD is a Boras client. Despite the delay, he may not be the only key for the Red Sox in their run to defend the AL East title for 2018.
One consistent theme with the 2017 offense was the under-performing. Guys like Mookie, Bogaerts, and JBJ struggled heavily. Dustin Pedroia’s injury plagued his year and allowed for inconsistency.
Expect Mookie Betts to return to MVP candidate form in 2018, especially if he gains some protection in the order. Jackie Bradley needs to be more consistent and Bogaerts needs to continue his greatness throughout the whole season instead of just the first half. It would be a pleasant surprised if Hanley Ramirez drove in 100 runs as well.
The pitching staff must perform up to their capability as well. David Price and Eduardo Rodriguez are going to have to redeem themselves, though showing flashes of their potential.
Carson Smith, or Tyler Thornburg must produce in order to validate Dave Dombrowski’s trades. In addition, their emergence may allow for a proven set up man to emerge.
The most important factor of 2018 isn’t JD Martinez. Don’t get me wrong, he’s valuable, but not as important as the guys already in the lineup playing up to what their capabilities.
It is clear that Dave Dombrowski will need to make a move, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that JD Martinez is the only factor heading into 2018.