Another cornerstone Red Sox player is heading elsewhere in free agency
December 17th, 2022
Another Red Sox internal free agent is leaving Boston. On Saturday night, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that designated hitter J.D. Martinez is signing a one-year, $10 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
According to Passan, the Dodgers “targeted Martinez early in free agency.” He’s now reunited with hitting coach Robert Von Scoyoc, who he worked with early in his career, as well as former Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts. Martinez and Betts both played key roles on the 2018 World Series-winning Red Sox team.
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Martinez is the second middle-of-the-order bat the Red Sox have lost in free agency this offseason. Earlier this month, shortstop Xander Bogaerts signed a massive deal with another NL West club, the San Diego Padres.
There wasn’t as much attention around the Red Sox retaining Martinez as some of their other free agents. He wasn’t among those who got a qualifying offer back in November, coming off a season when he hit .274 with 16 home runs and 62 RBIs in 139 games.
Overall, Martinez proved to be a slam dunk signing for the Red Sox, who first brought him on with a five-year, $110 million contract in 2018 under Dave Dombrowski’s leadership. He was a leader on and off the field for that 2018 championship team, and won two Silver Sluggers and made four All Star games in his time in Boston. There are now only four players from that 2018 team still with the Red Sox – Rafael Devers, Chris Sale, Matt Barnes, and Ryan Brasier.
The plan for the Red Sox to replace Martinez remain unclear. The team has Alex Verdugo, Kiké Hernandez, and Masataka Yoshida all figure to start in the outfield, but there aren’t many extra bats to put at DH – especially after the team DFA’ed Eric Hosmer on Friday.
Martinez signing takes one more pending Red Sox free agent off the market. Other big names still unsigned include Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Wacha, and Tommy Pham.
Alex Barth is a writer and 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. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarthor via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.