The Red Sox will retain their DH for a few more seasons, but what does this mean for the rest of the club?
It was announced Monday afternoon that Boston Red Sox DH, J.D. Martinez would retain the services of their All Star caliber designated hitter for a few more seasons. After welcoming Chaim Bloom as the Chief of Baseball Operations, the decision of Martinez was one of the last few precursors for the newly minted leader to begin his offseason work.
There was legitimate cause for concern that Martinez would test the open market after two excellent seasons with the Red Sox, both of which ended in 30+ HR’s and 100+ RBI’s. In regards to their DH, Bloom and company may still seek to restructure his contract with the current cap situation; however Martinez has two more opt out clauses within his current deal that may limit the potential for negotiations.
Personally, it was a bit surprising that the Red Sox were able to retain J.D. Martinez. The combination of a potential rebuild, coupled with the high profile player agent of Scott Boras felt like it would surely end with the club seeking a new designated hitter in 2020. However, the decision should limit the need for a complete roster overhaul, but rather a legitimate manipulation of the current cap situation. Yes, this move will have ramifications for other players.
Mookie Betts is the hot name, but it more likely affects Jackie Bradley Jr’s long term future with the Red Sox. Betts is a generational talent and Chaim Bloom is going to do everything in his power to keep him in Boston for the foreseeable future; however Bradley is a bit of an enigma. The highly talented centerfielder combines exceptional defensive ability with a streaky bat and a soon-to-be expiring contract. He’s going to get paid, as another Boras client, and it’s likely that his projected contract will be outside of Bloom’s future plans.
In addition to Bradley, Nathan Eovaldi may be another name to keep an eye on throughout the offseason. He signed a large deal after his World Series heroics last year, but obviously struggled with injuries and inconsistencies in 2019. The large contractual numbers may require him to be coupled with an additional player in a deal, but adjusting payroll seems to be in the Red Sox plans. He’s not necessarily expendable given the Sox lack of MLB-ready pitching depth; however he’s a name to keep an eye on as cap casualties will be coming.
Retaining J.D. Martinez is an obvious win for the Boston Red Sox; however it will come with ramifications. Chaim Bloom has been tasked with cleaning up the mess that Ben Cherington and Dave Dombrowski left behind, which should leave us with a busy offseason.