After months of negotiation, the Boston Red Sox have finally come to an agreement with outfielder J.D. Martinez and his agent, Scott Boras, according to ESPN’s Pedro Gomez.
The contract is reported to be worth $110M over the next five years, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. The contract is frontloaded and has an opt-out clause after two years.
The slugger totaled 45 home runs last season, splitting time between the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks. His power numbers will be much-welcomed in Boston, as the Sox were dead last in the American League in home runs last season with just 168. Martinez was an All-Star in 2015, and since becoming a full-time starter in 2014, he has averaged 32 home runs and 88 RBI per season while batting .301 with a .936 OPS.
While Martinez has spent his career primarily as a corner outfielder, the Red Sox have all three outfield positions locked in with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts.
Therefore, it is safe to assume that Martinez will serve as the Sox’ new designated hitter, and he could potentially see some time at first base. With Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland both on the books for this season, the two could potentially be platooned at first and Martinez could become the full-time DH.
Before signing with Boston, Martinez was projected by FanGraphs to hit 36 home runs, 115 RBI, and have a .296 batting average. With Fenway Park being a hitters’ park, Martinez’ potential to reach those impressive hitting numbers only grows. Since the Red Sox projected home run leader was Mookie Betts with only 26, Martinez’ run production will be very valuable in the lineup.
Martinez, who is 30 years old, will be under contract until he is 35 years old, and will earn an average of $22 million per year. Compared to Eric Hosmer’s new contract with the San Diego Padres—which will pay him an average of $18 million per season until he is 36-years-old—Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski seems to have gotten Martinez at a fair, at-market, price many were expecting Martinez and Boras to decline.