The Boston Red Sox haven’t made any significant roster moves this offseason with Spring Training less than a month away. Sure, they’ve revamped their coaching staff and have a new manager, but as far as players go? No new names; essentially the same roster as 2017.
A good way to describe Boston’s offseason would be the sound of crickets chirping.
However, things could change at any moment for the Red Sox and general manager Dave Dombrowski. He’s waited this long; he can wait a little longer. Everyone knows that there’s only one man Dombrowski’s after; and that is- of course- free agent slugger JD Martinez.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney this afternoon, the Red Sox have offered Martinez a deal “in the range” of five years at $100 million.
Source: Boston's offer to J.D. Martinez is in the range of five years, $100 million.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 17, 2018
At the start of the offseason, Martinez’s asking price was reportedly in the range of $200 million; Boston’s offer is half of that.
Boston needs a power bat in their lineup, and Martinez fills that void. The Red Sox finished fourth-to-last in the majors and last in the American League with 168 homers in 2017, a year that saw MLB set a new record with 6,105 dingers; it was also the first time since 1993 that the Red Sox finished last in the AL in homers. A total power outage!
Long story short, Dombrowski needs to acquire Martinez. Considering he’s yet to make a move to respond to the New York Yankees landing Giancarlo Stanton, the pressure is starting to build up for Dombrowski to show Martinez the money.
Martinez, 30, recently said he’s willing to wait until Spring Training to sign a deal with a new club.
The 6’3” Martinez bashed 45 homers in just 432 at-bats in 2017- one every less than 10 at-bats to go along with 104 RBIs. Not even a full season! His slash line was .303/.376/.690 split between the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks. Had Martinez finished with enough plate appearances to qualify, he all but certainly would’ve finished first in MLB in slugging percentage and OPS.
Those type of numbers in a contract year? Nothing but basic economics; that’s how you get PAID!
If Dombrowski doesn’t land Martinez- and assuming no blockbuster trade will be made before the season starts- it will be a wasted offseason for the Red Sox. They’ll have the same mediocre lineup which isn’t good enough to win in October. There will be no Stanton, no Carlos Santana, or no Eric Hosmer for that matter. Those three weren’t good enough for Dombrowski this offseason, and so Martinez is what’s left- not counting other current free agents like Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, and Todd Frazier- none of whom are on Dombrowski’s radar.
The time is now for Dombrowski to make a move. And by move, I mean sign Martinez. He’s in the prime of his career, made for Fenway Park, and made to give a lackluster Red Sox offense a spark that it so badly needs.