Despite Mitch Moreland returning to Boston, a J.D. Martinez Red Sox deal could still be a thing. They’re out on free agent Eric Hosmer, but could still add Martinez’s services.
The Red Sox signed Moreland to a two-year, $13 million deal on Monday. The 32-year-old batted .246 with 22 home runs and 79 RBIs in 2017. The deal effectively took the Red Sox out of the Hosmer sweepstakes – mainly because president of baseball ops. Dave Dombrowski confirmed as much.
“We still continue to feel that we have the opportunity to add someone else to our club from an offensive perspective that won’t be a first baseman,” Dombrowski told reporters on Monday, via MLB.com’s Ian Browne. “I don’t know if it will happen or not, but there are some names out there – people from a trade and free-agent perspective that we’ll continue to talk to.”
J.D. Martinez Red Sox Marriage?
Dombrowski made it clear that he is still looking for a player to possibly fill the designated hitter spot and also fill in as an outfielder when one of the three starters needs a day off. In that sense, J.D. Martinez and the Red Sox sound like a match. He would also represent the best possible choice on the free agent market in terms of power.
Between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, Martinez has batted .303 and averaged 40 home runs and 110 RBIs per 162 games over the past four seasons. He’d add some much-needed thump to the middle of the Red Sox lineup. But he would also come at a steep cost; agent Scott Boras is seeking a long-term deal in excess of $200 million for his client.
Ultimately, Dombrowski decided to keep the more cost-effective Moreland over more expensive options like Hosmer or Carlos Santana. Signing Martinez, whom the Red Sox reportedly met with at the Winter Meetings, may bring a wide range of reactions, including doubt that he would be the lineup-changing force that the team really needs. But there’s no doubting that he can hit the ball out of the park.
Regardless of what happens, the Yankees’ signing of Giancarlo Stanton hasn’t changed the Red Sox’ offseason plans.