There are two big stories that surround the future of the Red Sox organization. One, of course, is All-star outfielder Mookie Betts. The other is outfielder/DH J.D. Martinez. Martinez has been crucial to the middle of the Red Sox lineup. He was a huge part of why the Red Sox had their World Series-winning season in 2018. But now comes the hard part. Will J.D. stay or will he go? He can opt-out of his current deal and look to sign elsewhere. But…I have a funny feeling that J.D. Martinez will opt back into his contract with the Red Sox. Are you wondering where I’m coming from? Well, here are a few tidbits to think about in this situation.
He Loves being in Boston
Martinez has expressed time and time again how much he loves being in Boston. He went to Fenway as part of his 18th birthday, just to put it all into perspective. He mentioned several times throughout the 2019 season about how much he’d love to come back to Boston. At this point, why not keep the guy that is publicly saying he wants to come back? The Red Sox need that power in the middle of the lineup, especially if Mookie Betts ends up being traded. The bottom line is that if a guy with Martinez’s skill set wants to stay, then find a way to have him stay! That seems like pretty simple thinking to me.
He doesn’t have many other options
There aren’t many teams that can afford the services of J.D. Martinez. First off, he isn’t as good in the outfield as he is as an everyday American League DH. That means a lot of the National League teams will be out in the Martinez sweepstakes. The Chicago White Sox have been a team that has been rumored to be a fit. But, would Martinez want to go to a rebuilding team in the middle of his prime? My guess is probably not. If J.D. is smart, he’ll realize the options are limited and the Red Sox will continue to look better and better to come back to in 2020. He knows how talented the Red Sox are: Chris Sale, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Andrew Benintendi…do I need to go on? This Red Sox team is extremely talented on paper and can make a run in 2020 if all goes well. Why J.D. Martinez would want to take a gamble on another team at this point is beyond me. You have all of this talent surrounding you and then, you would go to another team and start over again? That doesn’t make a lot of sense. Martinez knows how good this team can be, just look at 2018. Imagine how upset Martinez would be going from a potential 100 win team to a 70-80 win team? Yikes!
J.D. Martinez should stay with the Red Sox. He has everything that he possibly needs in Boston. Does he want money? The Red Sox have one of the highest payrolls in baseball. Does he want to win? 192 regular-season wins in two seasons should do the trick. The point is that J.D. would be foolish to not stay in Boston. The decision is his of course. Let’s just hope he comes to his senses sooner rather than later.
Martinez may opt-out of his contract
J.D. Martinez will go where the money is. If the Sox give him the money he’s looking for then he’ll opt-in. If not he’ll find somewhere else to go. At the end of the season, Martinez admitted “I don’t mind moving around. I kind of like it,” he told the Boston Globe. The team he could possibly go to is New York, which would put a dagger in Red Sox fans. The Yankees could find a way to get Martinez and could share DH with Giancarlo Stanton.
He likes to be on different teams
Another reason he opts out would be he likes to be on different teams instead of staying on one team. He’s already won a World Championship with the Sox, and really doesn’t owe them anything after winning a championship and not committing to the team after their season ended. He has until Monday to opt-in, or opt-out five days after the World Series ends.
Another reason could be Mookie Betts, and if he knows that Betts won’t be on the team then he won’t want to be the face of a franchise. Martinez is not David Ortiz who was on the Sox from 2003-2016. No way Martinez wants to finish his career in Boston when he’s used to moving around. The reason why they got Martinez was that he was supposed to replace Ortiz as the DH. He had a great 2018 with 130 RBI’s batted .330, and 43 home runs. In 2019 he batted .304 with 105 RBI’s and 36 home runs. We’ll find out soon, but don’t be surprised if he goes to another team, especially New York.