Boston Red Sox: J.D. Martinez can be the man in Boston
The Boston Red Sox signed J.D. Martinez to a 5-year deal on Monday, worth $110 million. Even though there are plenty of all-star caliber players throughout Boston’s lineup, that doesn’t mean Martinez can’t be “the guy” for years to come.
Longtime second baseman Dustin Pedroia is past his prime. Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts are 25 years of age or younger. Outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., 27, is another young player on this roster. So, Martinez can be an excellent veteran player that brings elite power to Boston.
Sure the Sox have other veteran hitters like Hanley Ramirez, Mitch Moreland, and Eduardo Nunez. However, those players are nice complementary pieces, not top of the line sluggers.
Martinez posted an average of .303, 45 homers and 104 RBIs in 2017. He has the ability to hit the ball the opposite way during his power surges. Also, with the way Fenway Park is designed Martinez has the ability to match his numbers from a season ago.
Boston will need to focus on finding bullpen arms that can make big strides in 2018 and beyond. Closer Craig Kimbrel will become a free agent after this season. So the Sox might be more inclined to spend money on his replacement and possibly other pitchers throughout their roster.
Scheduled to hit free agency in 2020 are Chris Sale, Bogaerts, Ramirez and Rick Porcello. They’ve all contributed a lot to the Sox recent success. Boston will have to think about whether to re-sign them or not. They also have to consider whether or not they should agree to a deal with Madison Bumgarner or Gerrit Cole (both are set to hit the open market in 2020).
Martinez might end up being the last slugger to join the Sox on a huge deal. With the market about to receive a ton of talent over the next two offseasons, Boston has plenty of young assets who could be mainstays for years to come throughout their lineup.
J.D. Martinez has blossomed over the past couple of seasons and what better way for him to get a bigger name and reputation for himself than by playing ball in a Boston Red Sox uniform in October.