Should the Red Sox sign J.D. Martinez?
As baseball season draws closer, teams will need to assess their current rosters and see exactly what they have going into 2018. One team that has had a glaring hole all offseason is the Boston Red Sox and their lack of a true power hitter. With spring training games starting soon, there are still several notable free agents available, due to the strangely quiet offseason, including a player who hit over 40 home runs in 2017, J.D. Martinez.
All offseason the Red Sox and Martinez seemed like a perfect match due to the Red Sox ranking 27th in the league in HRs last season and Martinez ranking 3rd in the league with 45 home runs in 2017. With the team already resigning Mitch Moreland and having their starting outfield set, Martinez would be viewed as an option at DH even with Hanley Ramirez still on the roster. If Martinez were signed, the best option would be to have Ramirez and Moreland play mostly 1B and have Martinez spend most of his time as the DH with spot starts in the outfield to give someone a day off or if someone is injured.
Martinez’s 2017 campaign was the best year of his career. Not only did he hit over 40 home runs, but he had 104 RBIs and hit .303. Only once previously had he hit over 30 HRs and had over 100 RBIs in a season which might be causing teams to pause before paying him a large contract, both in years and money. Also, the fact that he turns 31 before the end of this season does not help his chance to get the type of contract he might be looking for.
Getting back to the Red Sox, they need to add a power hitter to this team. Last season Mookie Betts led the team with 24 home runs and 102 RBIs. Now for Betts, that is a good year, but with the amount of talent already on the roster, they need to add that one hitter that strikes the fear in an opposing pitcher’s mind when he steps to the plate.
Although Martinez may never again reach the kind home run number he put up in 2017, if he can be a 30 home run hitter for the next few seasons, the Red Sox should bring him in to help them compete for a World Series title.
All stats provided by Baseball Reference.
Colby Gatz covers the Red Sox for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @Colby_Gatz.