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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

J.D. Martinez Signs with Red Sox

J.D.+Martinez+during+his+time+playing+for+the+Detroit+Tigers.

J.D. Martinez during his time playing for the Detroit Tigers.

This was one of the slowest offseasons for the Red Sox in recent memory. After the Yankees moved to acquire Giancarlo Stanton, everybody knew that there was no chance the Red Sox wouldn’t counter in some way. It wasn’t a matter of if the Sox would sign someone, but who and when. For most of the offseason, J.D. Martinez seemed like the likely name for the Red Sox, but reports suggested that Martinez and the team were far apart on a contract. However, at the dawn of spring training, they finally came to an agreement, putting Martinez in a Red Sox uniform for the next five years.
The Red Sox struggled to hit for power last season and Martinez certainly brings it to their new lineup. He hit 45 home runs last season and led the league in slugging percentage. Over the last four season, Martinez even had a better slugging percentage than Stanton. While Stanton is an overall better player than Martinez, the Red Sox also aren’t on the hook for money like the Yankees.
The deal looks like a complete bargain for the Red Sox. Martinez’s contract is worth $110 million over the course of five years. However, Martinez also has two opt-out clauses after the second and third years, meaning he could leave money on the table and walk away from his Red Sox deal to make more money with another club. Even more enticing, Martinez’s contract is front loaded. Essentially, Martinez will make $50 million in the first two years and then $20 million every year after that if he chooses not to opt out. This allows the Red Sox to prepare for the end of his contract as he ages and most likely won’t be as productive. However, if he does play well for those two years, the Red Sox still have the option of restructuring his contract to keep him around. This deal just gives Boston a lot of options, keeping them from being strapped down to an aging slugger—a mistake they have made in the past.
As a Red Sox fan, the Yankees acquiring Stanton really felt like game over. Stanton led all of baseball in home runs and is coming off a National League MVP season. However, Boston has found a way to counter by addressing a glaring need on the team: power hitting. Martinez hit 45 home runs even though he missed the first month of the season. His offense helped get the Arizona Diamondbacks to the postseason, defying all expectations. Now, Martinez will call the hitter-friendly confines of Fenway Park home. He will most likely be Boston’s everyday DH, hopefully filling the void left by David Ortiz’s retirement a year ago. Martinez will also see a boost in numbers as he will be playing in the aforementioned hitter-friendly Fenway Park.
The Yankees looked to be running away with the A.L. East after acquiring the game’s best hitter. Now, it will be a two-horse race to find the beast of the east.