It now appears much more likely that Arizona Diamondbacks free agent JD Martinez winds up with the Red Sox instead of Giancarlo Stanton, whom the Red Sox were said to be interested in obtaining via trade earlier this offseason.
MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi listed Martinez as the player that will be most impacted when Stanton is traded (likely to the Dodgers). Here is what Morosi wrote about Martinez’s situation this week.
“Martinez, 30, is the free agent who most closely resembles Stanton’s profile and productivity,” Morosi wrote. “Over the past four seasons, Martinez ranks third in the Majors – behind only Mike Trout and Stanton – in OPS+ among full-time outfielders. Martinez is also among the league leaders in home runs over the same span; that makes him especially valuable to the Red Sox or Giants – two teams that struggled to hit homers this year. Martinez has a connection to Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who signed him for the Tigers in 2014. One storyline to watch in the coming days: Boston could seize upon the fact that it doesn’t appear to be involved in the Stanton talks by signing Martinez before the Stanton intrigue is resolved. But Martinez’s new agent, Scott Boras, may continue waiting in an effort to involve the Giants.”
As anyone who has followed Boras and the Red Sox in the past 10 years or so knows, Boras absolutely will wait this thing out in an attempt to drive up the price.
Don’t expect Dombrowski and the Red Sox to bite though if this thing drags into 2018. There is a reason why the Sox aren’t in on Stanton anymore, and that’s because his price tag is just too damn high. If the Sox were going to get wild with their checkbook this winter, they would most certainly have pushed harder for Stanton. Stanton is a generational, can’t miss talent.
Martinez simply is not that kind of player, and it would be coin flip as to whether or not he would fit in in Boston. High-priced free agent hitters do not have a great track record of succeeding at Fenway.
Martinez had your stereotypical “contract year” last season, belting career highs in home runs (45) and RBIs (104) and only approached those numbers in one other season in MLB (2015 when he hit 38 dingers with 102 runs driven in).
If the contract numbers get too out-of-whack (Boras is said to be shooting for something in the $200 million range), expect the Red Sox to pass and to target several lower priced free agent hitters.