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Heyman: D-backs hanging in J.D. Martinez free agency pursuit

Arizona Diamondbacks' Archie Bradley (25) gives a high-five to Arizona Diamondbacks' J.D. Martinez, right, after the final out of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Padres 3-2. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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From almost every angle, the Arizona Diamondbacks have invested time in attempting to re-sign free agent J.D. Martinez.

Owner Ken Kendrick has reportedly met with Martinez’s agent, Scott Boras, multiple times while D-backs Archie Bradley and Jake Lamb use Facetime as a recruiting tactic.

FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman believes that Arizona isn’t delusional about its chances to retain Martinez despite a competitor in the Boston Red Sox dangling a five-year, $100-plus million offer. He reports that the D-backs are looking at creative options to make up for the lack of longterm money that Boston is offering.

“I think they’re discussing the potential for a shorter-term deal with a higher AAV and some opt-outs, so a compromise situation,” Heyman said Tuesday while speaking to Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “Obviously we know J.D. Martinez was looking for a real long deal, real big money, and it’s been a funny market.

“I think J.D. loved it in Arizona, prefers to play the outfield and is trying to give the Diamondbacks every opportunity.”

Those last few points haven’t been discussed, but perhaps they are worth some weight.

While Martinez expressed the desire to remain with the Diamondbacks since the team was eliminated from the NLDS, his only other known option, Boston, would likely play him mainly a designated hitter.

In Arizona, he would likely be a full-time starting outfielder.

Next year’s free agency class filled with stars, however, could hamper Arizona’s contract options it can present to Martinez. Likely, Heyman said, the outfielder would not want to enter free agency again next year with other free agents potentially taking much of the money.

Martinez, who hit 29 home runs with 65 RBI in 62 games with Arizona last year, seems fine holding out to get his big payday.

But the longer this situation plays out, the more pressure there will be for one of the teams to blink. For the D-backs, not blinking so far appears to have them within the ballpark of a chance to retain the slugger.

“Once it’s down to one team, that might spur him to do something, or potentially one of the teams says something that (he) says, ‘You know what, this team really wants me,'” Heyman said.

“It seems like more has been written about Boston and the stalemate. There’s been less negativity about Arizona — maybe there’s more sympathy for them because they don’t have that type of revenue stream that Boston does. Maybe in J.D.’s mind, he feels that way to. I think at this point, it’s fair to say that they’re not in a bad spot.”


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