Report: Former D-backs outfielder J.D. Martinez agrees to deal with Boston
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ big source of power in 2017 will not be coming back to the team in 2018.
Free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez will sign with the Boston Red Sox, according to the MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.
The deal is for $110 million over five years, per Morosi.
The D-backs first acquired the 30-year-old outfielder in July from the Detroit Tigers for three minor-league prospects.
Between Detroit and Arizona last season, Martinez finished the season with .303/.376/.690 splits, making him a valuable target during free agency. He had 29 home runs and 65 RBI in only 62 games for the D-backs.
Martinez played a large part in the team getting to 93 wins last season, the club’s best since 2011. That led them to a National League Wild Card win over the Colorado Rockies and a trip to the National League Division Series against the Dodgers.
Despite Martinez’s value, the team had to pull off somewhat of a balancing act to keep him, as owner Ken Kendrick put it.
They remained in the running for Martinez, with Kendrick reportedly meeting with Martinez’s agent at least twice, but it was always going to be complicated for them to bring him back.
With pricey, long-term commitments on the books for Zack Greinke and Yasmany Tomas already — along with potential extensions upcoming for Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock — it was always going to be a challenge for general manager Mike Hazen and his staff to figure out how to fit a Martinez long-term contract on the payroll.
Now, with Martinez officially off the market, the Diamondbacks will look to add depth to the outfield, as only Pollock, David Peralta, Yasmany Tomas, Socrates Brito and Jeremy Hazelbaker remain on the active roster.
There has been speculation since November of the Red Sox being the team to land Martinez, given the connection he has to Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski, who signed Martinez when he was the general manager for Detroit in 2014.
Nevertheless, the asking price left the D-backs out of contention for the slugger.
Martinez and Boras began free agency asking for, reportedly, around $200 million for a multi-year deal.
The consensus was for Martinez to wind up with the Red Sox despite rumblings of a stand-off between the two sides. Per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the Red Sox wanted to avoid bidding against themselves in negotiations.
Martinez’s agent, Scott Boras, reportedly remained in contact with the D-backs and met with the team’s owner Ken Kendrick at least twice.
At the conclusion of the season, Martinez expressed interest in staying with the Diamondbacks, but there would have had to be numerous factors in place for them to be able to sign Martinez to the long-term contract he was seeking.
“This is, obviously, some of the best times I had in my life since playing professional baseball,” Martinez said after the season ended with an NLDS loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. “Going down the stretch and being a part of this, especially with this group of guys, it’s awesome. Obviously, I would love to come back, but I don’t know what the future holds or wherever God wants me to go. But, I hope it’s here.
“But if it’s not, I mean, Arizona will always hold a special place in my heart.”
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