Reports surfaced Thursday morning that JD Martinez is willing to hold out until spring training to sign for “‘market value”. This led Red Sox fans to collectively roll their eyes for the hundredth time this offseason.
Martinez is represented by Scott Boras, an agent with a history of getting his free agents what they want: long-term contracts with ludicrously big paychecks. The Sox haven’t always been quick to play the games that Boras plays. Jacoby Ellsbury was a Scott Boras client when he hit the open market and signed a massive deal with the Yankees. Sox fans thank the baseball gods every day that they didn’t end up with Ellsbury, but it’s hard not to want JD Martinez.
Martinez was an MVP candidate last year between the Tigers and the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks may not have the funds to bring back Martinez and the market for the slugger doesn’t seem to be as large as Boras was looking for. The Red Sox front office was reportedly ready to play the waiting game with Martinez the recent report that Martinez will wait out anybody, the Sox may be forced to step up their offer or lose the player to a dark horse late entry suitor.
Martinez is a hot commodity on the market and arguably the best free agent on the board. The Red Sox should simply step up the offer. Martinez will be worth the money in the upcoming season and with a short window for success, the Red Sox need the production now. Chris Sale and Rick Porcello will be free agents after the 2019 season and David Price can opt out after this year. If the pitching leaves, the Sox will need players like Martinez to carry the offense for years to come. Hopefully somebody blinks and Martinez will be at Jet Blue Park in March for his home games.