It seems that the Red Sox are the only team in the MLB that are staying put during free agency. However there’s no need to rush to meet JD Martinez’s demands to get the slugger the team needs.
We’re still waiting for big free agents to sign this winter. As of today, outfielder JD Martinez will wait out spring training in order to get the deal he wants. I’m not sure about the rest of Red Sox Nation, but I don’t want that sort of selfish player on my team. Unless this standoff comes to a close before truck day, I would consider other options until him and Boras get a reality check.
Before we throw away the idea of signing Martinez, let’s crunch some numbers. We are all aware of his stats last season. In previous years the numbers tell us a completely different story. His former best statistical season was 2015. In 158 games played, he hit a .282 batting average with 38 home runs and 102 RBIs. Sounds like a great season, right? In the three seasons prior he hit for twenty-three, seven, and eleven home runs. His slugging percentage in the previous three seasons were a modest .553, .378, and .375. The league averages for those years were .386, .396, and .405. In a hitter-friendly ballpark such as Fenway, those numbers aren’t going to cut it.
There’s no guarantee that he can’t reproduce the same or close to the same numbers as he did last year. Does that mean a team who hasn’t had the best of luck with long-term deals should dish out a seven-year commitment based on one good season? In all reality, they will most likely agree on a deal in the 3-5 year range. Here is a list of other options just in case:
Mike Moustakas 3B, Kansas City Royals
The third baseman is also struggling to find a long-term deal. There have been rumblings that he might settle for a one or two-year deal to improve his worth. If his value continues to decline, Moustakas would be an easy steal if his bat is willing to be a full-time DH. Potential deal: one year, $18 million.
Jose Bautista OF, Toronto Blue Jays
The longtime outfielder for the division rival Blue Jays has definitely played his last game at the Rogers Centre. While being on the Red Sox’s radar as of last offseason, the 37-year-old should only be offered a one year deal. Potential deal: one year, $8.5 million.
Hanley Ramirez DH/1B, Boston Red Sox
There’s a saying that goes, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. That applies with this situation. Hanley’s success with the Red Sox has grown since his return to the team. The power hitter did well in the home run department but lulled fans with his .242 batting average. If new coaches and staff can help revamp this offense into a dangerous home run hitting team, then there’s no problem keeping the lineup the same.
Yu Darvish P, Los Angeles Dodgers
If the stalemate doesn’t come to a resolution, the team could turn to bolster their starting rotation. If Dave Dombrowski and company have enough faith in their offense, this could be their best route financially to set up for next year’s free agency class. Potential deal: four years, $80 million.
No matter where this saga takes the team, the Red Sox have enough talent to keep them in the playoff hunt. With a new staff that is built to improve home run efficiency, the Red Sox have nothing to worry about for now.