After a month-long stalemate, it appears as if the Boston Red Sox and free agent slugger J.D. Martinez have finally come to terms on a contract.
Though the Red Sox have yet to make it official, ESPN’s Pedro Gomez reported on Monday that the two sides finally reached an agreement, taking the best hitter off the free agency market.
The reported deal is worth $110 million over five years, which is a big downgrade from the seven-year, $200 million contract Martinez and his agent, Scott Boras, were seeking.
This will be a nice pickup for the Red Sox, who will finally get a true power hitter to replace David Ortiz, something they’ve been lacking since his retirement in 2016.
Martinez has been one of the most consistent hitters in baseball over the last four years. He is coming off his best season as a pro, when he hit .303, with 45 HRs and 104 RBIs in just 119 games.
Martinez is expected to slide into the role of designated hitter, considering the Red Sox already have one of the best defensive outfields in the MLB.
We’ve already seen what Martinez can do in a hitter-friendly park last year when he was traded to Arizona midseason.
In just 62 games with the Diamondbacks, Martinez hit a whopping 29 HRs, including the game when he tied an MLB record with four home runs in one game.
Considering Martinez is going to one of the most right-handed friendly ballparks in the MLB and is strictly focusing on hitting this year, a big season could be in store for the star.
While the signing still doesn’t make the Red Sox offense better than their big-time rivals, the Yankees, Boston has better starting pitching than New York and a comparable bullpen.
The race for the AL East could be a fun one to watch play out over the course of the season.
And with both teams loaded for the upcoming season, we could see the playoff rivalry reignited.
The Yankees and the Red Sox haven’t met in the postseason since 2004, the year the Red Sox historically came back from a 3-0 series deficit to beat New York in the ALCS.
But this season, the two teams look destined to meet back up in the ALCS, which would be very good for baseball.
With MLB ratings down over the past few years, a Yankees-Red Sox rivalry might be exactly what the league is looking for.