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J.D. Martinez open to restructuring current contract

Rob Bradford
July 17, 2018 - 2:04 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- There is little debate that the Red Sox made a wise move in committing to J.D. Martinez this past offseason. It wasn't cheap, but the price they got the slugger (five years, $110 million) is appearing to be a relative bargain.

The issue, however, is those opt-outs.

Martinez can opt-out of his current deal after the second or third seasons, which at this rate seems like a virtual certainty considering the annual average value dips down from $23.75 million in the first three seasons to $19.375 million in the final two years. It is a notion that is probably making the Red Sox feel a bit uneasy considering how important the slugger would seem to be to this organization, in the present and future.

That's why even after living with Martinez for just a few months, the idea of blowing up the current deal and making something more permanent is a plausible scenario. It's also one that the American League All-Star team's cleanup hitter is open to.

"That's the guy you want to talk to right there," Martinez said with a chuckle, pointing to his agent Scott Boras after being asked about a possible restructuring of his deal.

"Absolutely," he continued regarding his acceptance of entertaining such an approach. "It would obviously have to be discussed later. Yeah, I've liked my time there. It's been fun so far, so I don't see why not.

"I like the front office. I like the manager. I like everything, the way it's run. I think it's trending in a really good way. I wouldn't mind staying there."

The impetus for the Red Sox to approach Martinez about a new deal would obviously be in large part because of a skill-set that doesn't figure to be waning any time soon. But there are other factors. For one, the team is going to have to start defining which players will represent their foundation going forward, with players like Chris Sale, Mookie Betts, and Xander Bogaerts all up in the next few years and not a lot of promise in the minors representing possible replacements.

And then there is the impact Martinez has made in the clubhouse, an element that is undoubtedly factored in when figuring how what type of players the Red Sox want to build around.

"I think it’s something I’ve grown into becoming," said Martinez of his growing leadership on this Red Sox team. "I was never really that in Detroit. I kind of got a little bit of it in Arizona. Here it has kind of forced me to take that step, and it’s a step I feel comfortable with right now."

For more from Boras on why he structured Martinez's contract the way he did, and how the agent projected his client, click here.

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