Report: Martinez has 5-year offer from Red Sox
With the holiday season finally over, the Boston Red Sox appear to be intensifying their pursuit of J.D. Martinez.
Martinez, the free-agent slugger who smacked a career-high 45 homers in 2017, has reportedly received a five-year contract offer from the Red Sox, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The value of the deal is unknown.
Looking to add an impact bat this offseason after finishing last in the American League in home runs (168) in 2017, the Red Sox have long been linked to Martinez, a one-time All-Star who boasts a .936 OPS (149 OPS+) over the past four seasons.
"They really like J.D.," one source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand last month of the club's interest in Martinez.
With his agent, Scott Boras, believed to seeking a contract in the $200-million range, though, Martinez's asking price may be too high for Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who insinuated in December after re-signing Mitch Moreland that he'd be fine heading into spring training without making any more significant changes to his roster. (Moreover, with Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi locked into their corner outfield spots, the Red Sox may have to pay an additional premium to convince Martinez to be their everyday designated hitter.)
"Right now, we're in a position that we could go forward as we are now," Dombrowski said. "I think there's a lot of things to be done in the industry between now and spring training; we'll keep abreast of what those things are and see if we can still help ourselves."
That said, Martinez - who isn't attached to draft-pick compensation - would be a major boon to a Red Sox lineup that, after adjusting for park effects, finished third-last in the AL in offense last year. In 119 games split between the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017, Martinez hit .303/.376/.690 with 45 homers and 26 doubles while putting up 3.8 WAR - more than every Red Sox position player except Betts. Since 2014, despite missing an average of 32 games per season, Martinez has managed a higher wRC+ (148) than every qualified hitter except Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, and Paul Goldschmidt.
No other teams have been strongly linked to Martinez this winter, though the Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants were both expected to meet with him.
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