Word is breaking around the MLB Winter Meetings that a number of teams are lined up to have a sit down meeting with one of the hottest free agents on the market this offseason, JD Martinez.
The word from the slugger’s agent, Scott Boras, who is notorious for landing his clients monster deals, is that the asking price will be worth about $210Million over a span of seven years. If you want to just break that down into equal payment over those seven years, you are looking at an outfielder at the price of about $30Million per season.
Obviously with Boston missing out on Giancarlo Stanton, and depending on which report you focus on it sounds like Dombrowski wasn’t even interested in him. But regardless, because Stanton isn’t suiting up for you next year, and instead your in division rival New York, you need to make a notable power move if you honestly want to keep the division close let alone winning it.
Here’s my thing about the Yankees vs the Red Sox right now. Although the Red Sox have won the previous two division titles, the Yankees made a deeper playoff run than Boston this past post-season. So regardless of where they each ended up at the end of game 162 of the regular season, the Yankees technically finished higher than Boston overall.
And here’s the thing about that. Boston, so far you’ve remained the same if not slightly worse. One of your main focal points of power, Mitch Moreland, is now a free agent on the market. Now whether or not you want to ink him for one additional season is a separate conversation. At the current moment however, you are worse then you were at the end of the year. Now the Yankees though, have gotten stronger regardless of who is a FA and that’s solely because of the addition of Stanton.
Adding Stanton to the lineup is something unfathomable to me and it makes my blood want to explode out of my veins. This is Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors all over again. And speaking of that my GOD can I not wait to get to a Sox, Yankees game and boo Stanton so hard I faint in the ballpark while holding my Sam Adams. Shout out to the new official beer of the Boston Red Sox. Worth it.
And I don’t have to explain to you the amount of pop Stanton adds to an already powerful lineup of nine, do I?
You’ve heard it all. Stanton hit 59 bombs last year with an average hovering around .280. Immaculate. And combined with his new buddy, Aaron Judge, they hit 111 total. Disgusting.
Compared to the Boston Red Sox those two alone only came up 57 short, literally one more Stanton, of tying the 2017 Red Sox team total. No I said that right. Their TEAM total. Add Sanchez with those two and they sit at over 140 together.
What are the Red Sox going to do if they don’t add any more power? Sit pat with the same team as the previous season? Now yeah, I do think the team underperformed. I think Mookie Betts has more to him than a .264 average. But overall, even if Mookie does bump that up to .300, that’s not nearly enough to overcome the offensive productivity that the Yankees will produce.
New York is clearly attempting to rebuild their dynasty and are working diligently at the Winter Meetings. They are talking to everybody including Detroit in attempts to make a trade for their ace, Mike Fulmer, bolstering their starting rotation.
While there are a few very capable ball players on the market, I don’t think any of them can produce the same effect that Martinez could.
The other name that keeps getting tossed around is Eric Hosmer, the long time Royal. And again, while Hosmer is a great player and frankly, one of the best in the game, he doesn’t provide the amount of power this team needs supplied in order to stand a fighting chance at winning the AL East. If Hosmer does sign in Boston this winter, he should be your second guy. He should be a compliment to the first player that you inked.
Look, I understand what Stanton can do and most likely will do in New York next year. I’m not stupid. Yankee Stadium is a launch pad for home runs. That Todd Frazier right field slap that carried out in the playoffs is still laughable. My jaw DROPPED when that made it over. It’s a little league field out in the Bronx.
Martinez may not produce as much power as Stanton… But I’ll be honest, I like his numbers better. While Stanton put out 59 balls with a .281 average, Martinez hit 45 home runs with a .303 average. So while he didn’t eclipse the 50 home run mark, 45 is nothing to sneeze at. That amount of home runs makes you feared when you step into the batters box. So again, while he isn’t Stanton, he’s comparable. And if you look at the numbers that isn’t arguable.
There is one thing that makes me tepid to sign Martinez though. If Boras won’t budge off of the seven year wish, than the age worries me. That is a long contract for 30 year old player who, let’s be honest, won’t be worth the money toward the tail end of that deal.
And whether he plays left field or DH, it doesn’t matter to me. That’s where the signing of Hosmer or Moreland comes in and dare I say, the possibility of trading away center fielder Jackie Bradley Junior who has been rumored to be on the market at the winter meetings.
The fun aspect about this offseason is all of the “what if” factors that need to fall into place. It’s going to be incredibly interesting to see how the rest of the offseason unfolds but despite what others may think, I believe Dombrowski will make a move of some significance. And I think that move of significance needs to be JD Martinez.
Written By: Nick Quaglia (@NickQuag)