Red Sox still haven't offered new deal to J.D. Martinez

Rob Bradford
October 28, 2019 - 5:46 pm
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J.D. Martinez mentioned in spring training the Red Sox hadn't made a move to rework his current contract.

"Nothing has happened," Martinez told WEEI.com the week leading into Opening Day, a reality he reaffirmed when the season began.

Just days away the date Martinez will be forced to choose whether or not to exercise his opt-out the Red Sox approach doesn't seem to have changed. According to Red Sox principal owner John Henry there has been no offer made to increase the three years, $62.5 million left on the slugger's deal.

"It hasn't changed," said Henry, who acknowledged chairman Tom Werner has met with Martinez's agent Scott Boras.

Martinez, who is slated to make $23.75 million in 2020 if he doesn't opt-out of his deal, has until five days after the completion of the World Series to make his decision. Henry said the organization currently doesn't have a good read on which way it will go.

"I don't know what they are thinking," the owner said.

Boras certainly sounded like an agent who was ready to take his client to free agency when the season began, as was evident in his tone while talking at the press conference for Xander Bogaerts' contract extension on April 1.

"This guy is some kind of hitter," Boras said. "He and (Washington's Anthony) Rendon (also a Boras client) are probably going to be the two most focused on offensive players on the market as far as guys who are elite offensive players. Yeah … Not that I think about those things."

One roadblock for Boras and Martinez is the certainty that the Red Sox will offer Martinez the qualifying offer (just under $18 million this year), meaning whatever team that signs him -- other than the Sox -- will be forced to surrender a draft pick.

Boras represents a good amount of the top tier free agents in this year's market. What this means is that there will be less room for interpretation when it comes to which free agent might go where. The three biggest free agents starting next month -- Rendon, Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole -- all are represented by Boras, as are Nick Castellanos, Dallas Keuchel, Mike Moustakas and Hyun-jin Ryu. There is some thought that if Martinez does hit free agency Boras will prioritize getting the righty hitter's new deal done on the earlier side.