It’s the middle of extension season and the Red Sox should seek to retain their talent.
It’s been a really odd offseason for the Boston Red Sox, to say the least. It started off with the extreme high of winning a World Series championship, but has transitioned into watching many contending teams get better. Obviously, the Boston front office believes they can repeat, but other clubs have bolstered their bullpen and made a conscious effort to lock up long-term star players.
The majority of the attention has been on Mookie Betts after Mike Trout and Bryce Harper both inked mega deals. While it’s important to retain Betts, and possibly Andrew Benintendi as well, restructuring the deal of J.D. Martinez should be on the agenda.
It seems like a lifetime ago that the Red Sox were in the thick of contractual disagreements with Scott Boras and Martinez before finally locking up their power hitter late in the offseason. It was a large deal, a total 5 year / $110 million; however the deal came to fruition due to the multiple opt out clauses that exist – including one after the 2019 season.
There’s reason to strike a deal now before the market value for Martinez continues to increase. He’s not Trout, Betts, Harper, or Machado merely based off his current age and career trajectory, but his value will certainly increase if he sustains production. It’s been very clearly stated that the Sox star has been a positive influence in the clubhouse, working with younger players as well as the likes of Jackie Bradley Jr.
If there’s anyone concerned with a drop off in production, it’s important to look at his career trend. He’s been a model of consistency in regards to overall batting average.
via Daniel Coyle / Sports Betting Dime
Martinez has been a steady producer at the plate in recent years, hitting over .300 in four of the past five years, with the lone exception coming in 2015, when he compiled a respectable .282 average on a Detroit Tigers squad that won just 74 games on their way to a last place finish in the AL Central.
There will always be concern as players get older, but it’s important to recognize that J.D. Martinez is far more valuable than just a power hitter. He’s the middle of the order, but he’s a disciplined and intelligent hitter that will continue to produce, even if the power drops off.
In reworking a deal, the Red Sox should seek to front load a deal and rid themselves of the multiple player options that exist within his Scott Boras inked deal. Dave Dombrowski will certainly seek to lock up the other mainstay’s within the organization, but he’d be smart not to overlook the reworking of the very player-friendly deal of J.D. Martinez.