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Report: Asking price for free agent J.D. Martinez in $200 million range

Arizona Diamondbacks' J.D. Martinez follows the flight of his three-run home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray in the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The initial asking price for D-backs free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez is reportedly sky high.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that teams that have been in touch with Scott Boras, Martinez’s new agent, are going to have to pay big to secure Martinez’s services.

The expectation surrounding Martinez hiring Boras was something similar to the report, that Martinez was looking to make the most money possible this offseason.

That’s not an unreasonable thing to do when you’re 30 years old and just had the best season of your career. Martinez hit .303 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 2017, making it likely this upcoming contract he signs is the best payday of his life.

AZCentral’s Nick Piecoro reports that Boras sees no reason why the D-backs wouldn’t pursue Martinez.

There are a few reasons why the D-backs wouldn’t be able to bring back someone with a high price tag like Martinez.

One is the upcoming extensions the team has coming up.

Paul Goldschmidt’s contract extension is not going to be cheap. He makes $11 million next season and has a $14.5 million team option in 2019. After that, he’s an unrestricted free agent. A.J. Pollock also becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2019 after his third arbitration year in 2018,

The other reason is the flexibility in bringing back those two is restricted for the foreseeable future by the two players who made the most money on the team last season: Zack Greinke and Yasmany Tomas.

Greinke makes at least $34 million for each of the next four seasons while Tomas’ might hurt more given his lack of production. Tomas is at a $13.5 million salary for 2018 that rises to $15.5 million in 2019 and $17 million in 2020.

No matter how much Martinez makes, whether it’s closer to $100 million total or $200 million total, the D-backs will have little to no wiggle room to bring him back unless there was an unforeseen increase in the total team payroll. It’s a tricky predicament for the front office to tackle coming off an extremely successful season.

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