Boston Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez has most definitely enjoyed his first four months in Boston.
The feeling is certainly mutual, as Martinez enters the All-Star break with an MLB-best 29 homers and 80 RBIs, while his Red Sox have the best record in baseball through the first half of the season, at 68-30.
The looming dark cloud hanging over the Red Sox, however, is that Martinez could opt out of his contract as early as fall 2019. It's after that 2019 season that a three-year window of opt-out clauses worked into his five-year, $110 million contract with the Red Sox officially opens.
Given his production in Boston -- and dating back to last year -- Martinez seems like an automatic to opt out and get paid.
But Martinez would entertain the idea of reworking that deal to ensure that he stays in Boston, according to MassLive.
"Absolutely," Martinez said about his interest in signing a new extension as a measure to remove the opt-out clauses. "It obviously would have to be discussed later. I've liked my time there. It's been fun so far, so I don't see why not."
Staying in Boston would certainly require Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski to pay Martinez more than the $22 million per year he's currently making. But if the 30-year-old continues to deliver the way he has, the power-strapped Sox can more than stomach adding a few more years and additional eight figures to their payroll.
It also helps that the the 6-foot-3 Martinez has downright crushed the ball at Fenway this season. In 45 home games this season, Martinez has pounded 19 home runs, 50 RBIs, and posted a .353 batting average.
In essence, it's a market that the eight-year veteran has clearly had no problem handling.
"[It's] the fans, the passion, the environment you get to play every day in," Martinez said of playing in Boston. "They love their baseball and love their team. They'll die with them and they'll live with them."
Martinez will bat clean-up for the American League in the 2018 All-Star Game at Nationals Park.