The Pros and Cons of J.D. Martinez
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By this point, everybody knows the Boston Red Sox are in need of a power bat. They also know their biggest target is right fielder Julio Daniel “J.D.” Martinez.
After an unproductive Winter Meetings, Red Sox fans are begging Dave Dombrowski to make some sort of move and obtain a power hitter. After his best season in his entire career, J.D. Martinez is the man on everybody’s mind, but would signing J.D. Martinez really be worth it?
Martinez is going into free agency coming off his breakthrough year.
The Detroit Tigers traded the right fielder after 57 games to the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he would go on to play another 62 games. During his time with both organizations, he had career-high numbers in multiple categories, with stats of .303/.376/.690, 45 home runs and 104 RBIs.
Martinez’s 2017 numbers mirror his stats of 2015, which was another one of his best seasons.
In 2015 he drove in 102 runs, hit 38 home runs, appeared in the All-Star game, and won the Silver Slugger award. Martinez has consistently been a .250+ hitter during his seven seasons in the Major League and has consistently had an OBP of .300 or higher.
Going to free agency after having a huge season isn’t always a good thing, however. Since the main appeal of Martinez for the Red Sox is his power, there is some concern that he may underperform. After all, Martinez has only had one season where he came anywhere close to his home run count from this season.
Scott Boras, Martinez’s agent, is said to be seeking a five or six-year, $200 million contract for Martinez. Not only is $200 million an absurd amount of money, if Martinez does end up underperforming in his first couple of seasons, it’s possible that the Red Sox could be stuck with his contract, essentially having their own Jacoby Ellsbury.
Besides the many contractual problems, Martinez has stated he would prefer to be signed as an outfielder instead of a designated hitter. Because of the already impressive outfield the Red Sox had last season along with Martinez’s unimpressive .980 fielding percentage, signing him to play in the outfield would be a poor decision.
While some of the cons of signing Martinez were based on speculation, some of the other cons are legitimate concerns that have existed since the first thought of signing the outfielder. While some people may feel that the cons of signing Martinez outweigh the pros, the need for a power bat is still large. But is it still worth it? Only time will tell.