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If You're Itching For The Red Sox To Make A Big Move, The Good News Is That JD Martinez Is Willing To Hold Out Until Spring Training

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game One

That was a joke. If you’re itching for the Red Sox to make a big move, it’s actually a bad thing that JD Martinez is willing to hold out until spring training because that means you have to wait even longer! Get it? Ah, offseason depression jokes. Classic!

Miami acquaintances of Martinez say he is willing to “hold out,” certainly into spring training, for what he believes should be his market value. The Red Sox have offered Martinez a five-year deal, and sources suggest at least one other has, too.

In any case, word coming out of Miami is that Martinez, 30, believes it appropriate that he get a six-year deal. It isn’t known what kind of total dollars the Red Sox, Diamondbacks and maybe others are offering (the Jays also have been showing interest and met with Martinez at the Winter Meetings), but sources suggest that Martinez is seeking $30 million-plus annually — $200 million if he can get it but at least $180 million, following his boffo season, first in Detroit and then Arizona.

The interested teams are believed offering somewhere in the $120 million to $150 million range (yes, that’s a big range, but the offers to this point are unknown). So it’s believed he’s in the neighborhood of around $50 million short of the asking price at present. That sounds like a lot.

I try my best to always see things from both sides. On the Red Sox side of things, I’ve commended Dave Dombrowski multiple times for having a plan and sticking to it as it pertains to Martinez. Dombrowski essentially said, “Here’s a five-year offer. Get back to me if somebody makes you a better one.” Guess what? Nobody has made a better offer, because if they did, Martinez would’ve been holding up a jersey at a press conference somewhere by now.

As the report states, Martinez has come down from his original asking price of seven years, $210 million to wanting at least a six-year deal with an average annual value of at least $30 million. So, let’s call it six years, $180 million for his new asking price. By the sounds of it, he’s currently only sifting through five-year offers. I’d imagine that if he had a six-year offer in hand, he would’ve taken it by now.

Noted Scott Boras puppet Jon Heyman also mentions that the teams who have made offers are believed to be “somewhere in the $120 million to $150 million range”, so it would only make sense if the Red Sox were on the more expensive end of that spectrum. Why? Because they know that Martinez prefers to still be an outfielder, while Boston really only has full-time opportunities for him at DH, so they’re going to have to compensate for a lack of outfield opportunities by coming in with a higher average annual value.

Now, if you’re Martinez, surely you must understand that this comes off as greedy to some fans. That’s just inevitable when a big-money negotiation drags out like this. But I totally see his side. He’s 30 years old and just four years removed from being released by the Houston Astros. It wasn’t that long ago that Martinez’s future in Major League Baseball was looking quite bleak, to say the least. To go from that to a player who blasted 45 homers in 119 games in a walk year, I get it. Make that paper, dog.

Coming into 2017, Martinez had made just north of $10 million TOTAL over his first six major league seasons. Now, he’s looking to make three times that ANNUALLY over of his next six seasons. Shoot your shot. I’ve got no problem with the ask, but if nobody wants to come up to six years, then he’s going to have to take the best of the five-year offers and I’d be willing to bet that the most lucrative five-year offer on the table will be from the Boston Red Sox.

However, if the gap in average annual value between Boston’s offer and the next best offer isn’t all that sizable, I could totally see a scenario where Martinez takes that second best offer, assuming that team is also offering him the opportunity to play outfield every day. As much as it would suck to lose out on Martinez and go into 2018 without a big bat (again), I stand behind Dombrowski not guaranteeing anything beyond five years.

Like I’ve written in the past, the most I would do is a sixth-year option that would kick in if Martinez accumulates roughly 1,000 plate appearances over the final two years of the deal. All due respect to Martinez, but he hasn’t exactly been an iron man over his career. The Red Sox asking him to stay on the field to prove worthy of a sixth year isn’t exactly an outrageous request.