It appears that finally the Boston Red Sox have filled the huge void on offense that was left when David Ortiz retired following the 2016 season.
Reports are that J.D. Martinez, the elusive free agent and former Arizona Diamondbacks player, and the Red Sox agreed to a contract of five years for $110 million. The slugger, who is 30, can opt out of this deal following both the second and third years, said the reports. The deal is said to be front-loaded during years one and two.
Boston has yet to confirm the news, but there were indications of a big happening at JetBlue Park Monday afternoon, when John Henry the principal owner and Tom Werner the chairman were seen exiting the facility and then called back to meet with Dave Dombrowski the president of baseball operations.
After the report that Eric Hosmer had agreed to a $144 million eight-year deal with San Diego, the opinion was Martinez would soon sign.
The Diamondbacks were also considered in contention to sign Martinez after he batted .302 with 29 home runs in just 62 games with Arizona after being traded by the Tigers in July. For the entire 2017 season, Martinez batted .303 with 45 home runs in just 119 games.
It was reported during the middle of January that Boston had offered Martinez a deal of close to $125 million for five years and that the team showed some patience throughout the winter while avoiding any bidding war. In January, chairman Werner said Boston was attempting to use restraint in what it spent. On January 19 Werner said the team was in active negotiations with the slugger.
The team salary for Boston for purposes of luxury tax was in the region of $210 million prior to adding in Martinez, so with an average annual salary of $22 million, Boston should remain below the mark of $237 million avoiding costly penalties and 10 spots for its draft pick in the first round and bonus money for international picks.
Manager Alex Cora has said he wanted Mookie Betts to be the leadoff hitter followed by Andrew Benintendi, leaving Martinez to fill the 3-hole to provide protection for the two talented outfielders after Boston finished dead last with 168 home runs in the American League last season.
Martinez started with the Houston Astros where he hit only .251 with 24 home runs during three seasons but only 252 games, before he was released prior the 2014 season and signed two days later by Detroit, whose general manager at that time was Dombrowski.