Once it got to the weekend and the Red Sox hadn’t yet finalized their deal with J.D. Martinez, it became clear that it was about more than just logistical issues. And it turns out that the Red Sox did, in fact, change the contract language because of injury concerns.
It comes as no surprise that those concerns are with Martinez’s foot. The Red Sox’ prized free-agent acquisition suffered a Lisfranc sprain in his right foot before the start of the 2017 season, before returning to play 119 games and hit 45 home runs in that span.
So while Martinez may be OK in the short-term, the Red Sox reportedly still harbored long-term worries over the injury. As they should.
Though Dave Dombrowski provided a little clarity as to what took so long, it obviously wasn’t just because Martinez had to fly to Boston and back for his physical. After the press conference concluded, some more concrete information emerged about the added language in the contract, thanks to Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston.
Drellich tweeted out the details of the added injury protections for the Red Sox on Monday. Agent Scott Boras confirmed that the protections are related to Martinez’s Lisfranc injury and that the Red Sox now have some opt-outs of their own. In the original deal – which is still five years and $110 million – Martinez had the chance to opt out after year two.
Here’s how it breaks down:
— Martinez can now opt out after year three or year four, in addition to year two.
— The Red Sox gained a team opt-out for years 4-5. It would kick in if Martinez suffers a related Lisfranc injury in the prior year. Martinez would have to spend 60 days on the DL in the preceding year, or 10 days on the DL in the previous year plus 120 total days on the DL in the previous two years.
— There will be a “3-doctor system” to determine whether the new injury was related to the old one.
It’s all pretty complicated. But just as an example … let’s say Martinez suffers a Lisfranc injury in 2019, and spends 60 days on the DL because of it. Then in 2020, he spends another 60 days on the DL with the same injury. That’s 120 total days with the same injury in the two years prior to 2021, which would give the Red Sox the chance to opt out after what would be three disappointing, injury-riddled seasons.
Apparently, this all means that there’s no protection for 2018. So the hope is that Martinez is as healthy as everyone says he is and that he can avoid a repeat of the Lisfranc injury over the next 6-9 months.
It’s essentially year-to-year with Martinez now. Hold on to your butts.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.