The Boston Red Sox courtship of outfielder J.D. Martinez is finally over. On the heels of players reporting to Ft. Myers and just prior to the first Spring Training game of the year, the defending A.L. East champions have finally nabbed their middle-of-the-order power bat. According to multiple sources, the free-agent slugger and the Sox have reached a five-year, $110 Million contract.
It’s done. JD Martínez is a Red Sox.
— Pedro Gomez (@pedrogomezESPN) February 19, 2018
From the get-go, this seemed like an obvious match between player and club. Since the retirement of David Ortiz following the 2016 season the Red Sox have failed spectacularly in replacing his production. As a team in 2017, they slugged a total of 168 home runs. Good for fourth WORST in all of the majors. In 2016, Ortiz’ last season, the Red Sox were ninth best in the Majors with 209 home runs. Last season, between Detroit and Arizona, Martinez slugged 45 home runs and 119 RBI’s. His .690 slugging percentage was by far the top mark in the majors. Newest Yankee, Giancarlo Stanton (.631) and Mike Trout (.629) were the next closest.
Last season, the Red Sox acquired pitcher Chris Sale in a blockbuster trade with the White Sox. Sale, who was a finalist for the Cy Young Award in his first season was every bit as advertised and more. Now, Martinez will slide into the cleanup spot for the Red Sox in a lineup ripe with young talent.
Projected Opening Day Lineup
- Mookie Betts RF
- Andrew Benintendi LF
- Xander Boegarts SS
- J.D. Martinez DH
- Hanley Ramirez 1B
- Rafael Devers 3B
- Christian Vazquez C
- Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
- Eduardo Nunez 2B
Eventually, veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia will slide back into the lineup, making it even more formidable. The Yankees made a splash this offseason in acquiring Giancarlo Stanton, making them the clear-cut favorite in the division. Adding Martinez, who has been one of the best hitters in all of baseball for the past four years, significantly closes the gap. In fact, over the last four seasons, Martinez has hit .3o0 with a .574 slugging percentage. In that time he hit 124 home runs and drove in 350 runs. Stanton, in the same time frame, hit .271 with 150 home runs and 378 RBI’s.
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Now, health has been a concern at times for Martinez. He has averaged about 120 games a season in three of the last four seasons, including in 2017 when he played in only 119. With that said, if Martinez plays closer to the 150 game plateau in addition to playing within the friendly confines of Fenway Park, Martinez could eclipse 50 home runs. If anything, he will likely have a career-year in doubles as he can use the Green Monster to his advantage.