Almost two weeks into January, the free-agent market is slow across the board.
The Red Sox have made minor moves, signing Mitch Moreland to a two-year deal, and Steven Wright and Carson Smith to one-year deals. However, Sox fans are still holding out that the team’s most clear need will soon be fulfilled.
The Red Sox are in obvious need of a power bat. Ever since Giancarlo Stanton was traded to the Yankees, the pressure is on the Sox to sign a big hitter of their own has increased.
J.D. Martinez, who has been most commonly linked to the Sox, is the most obvious solution. About a week ago, reports surfaced that the Sox offered Martinez a 5-year contract, but no update on the deal has been released.
There is still hope that Martinez will play for Boston next season, but there is a chance that Dave Dombrowski won’t be able to reach an agreement with Martinez’s agent, Scott Boras. If this is the case, will the Red Sox be set up for failure heading into this season?
The short answer is no.
Coming off a 2017 AL East win with a strong core of returning players, including a highly talented pitching staff, the Red Sox are in a position to be equally (or ideally more) competitive in 2018 as they were last year.
The Red Sox will be hoping that the returning players that performed below their potential last year, such as Rick Porcello, Hanley Ramirez, and Jackie Bradley Jr. will perform better this year, which is not unlikely.
Looking at the competition the Sox will face this season, the team’s potential success would be enhanced by the addition of Martinez, but it is not reliant on his presence.
Although the Yankees have Stanton, there’s a chance he might not perform as well as anticipated. Moreover, one strong player does not necessarily equate to a strong team.
All of this being said, Dave Dombrowski has shown significant interest in Martinez. That combined with Dombrowski’s reputation of making a splash during the offseason points me to predict that Martinez will be joining the Red Sox roster sooner rather than later.