Boston Red Sox aggressively pursued outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and third baseman Manny Machado in this offseason, but have missed out on both of them. On Tuesday, however, they finally got one deal done. According to the multiple sources, the Red Sox have reached a deal with right fielder J. D. Martinez, who was a free agent after his deal with Arizona Diamondbacks expired at the end of the season.
Reportedly, Red Sox have offered Martinez a five-year deal, worth $100 million last month, but that didn’t convince the 30-year-old who then started leaning towards an extension with the Diamondbacks. Eventually, the Red Sox increased the offer to $110 million, which ended being enough. According to ESPN, Martinez will be able to opt-out in the second and third year of the contract.
Although Boston Red Sox managed to win the American League East in 2017 with 93-69 record, they ended up having the second-lowest slugging percentage in the league with .407 and hitting just 168 home runs. This should change to better with J. D. Martinez on board.
Martinez finished the 2017 season ranking third in MLB in homers with career-high 45, hitting 29 out of those 45 in the last 62 games of the season. Mookie Betts, who was the Red Sox leader in home runs, finished the season with 24. Martinez’s performance last season wasn’t an anomaly. According to ESPN, he is the only player alongside Los Angeles Angels’ center fielder Mike Trout that managed to hit .300 with at least 125 home runs and have a slugging percentage of .550 since 2014.
Although he played as an outfielder for Diamondbacks, J. D. Martinez will most likely serve as a designated hitter for the Red Sox and finally be a badly needed successor to David Ortiz.