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Red Sox target J.D. Martinez digging in on contract demands

Rob Bradford
January 11, 2018 - 11:03 am

Spring training might not be the end of this offseason, after all.

According to FanRag Sports, Red Sox free agent target J.D. Martinez is willing to "hold out" for one more year than the Sox are currently offering, suggesting that the slugger could remain unsigned heading into February.

Multiple reports have stated that the Red Sox' offer to the 30-year-old is for five years, with Jon Heyman reporting that at least one other team willing to commit to the same duration.

Writes Heyman:

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.

But Martinez’s willingness to wait is bolstered by the reality that there are multiple teams involved (Arizona’s involvement may have been underplayed to this point) at somewhat similar levels, and also the fact that there is no one comparable – at least when it comes to 2017 performance. Jay Bruce and Carlos Gonzalez have been productive offensive performers, but Martinez’s 2017 season was extraordinary while Bruce’s was just very good and CarGo’s uncharacteristically unproductive (at least until the final several weeks).

Besides the obvious overall power production supplied by Martinez over the past three years, the outfielder/designated hitter has received universal praise from coaches who have worked with him. For more insight, read comments made by Arizona hitting coach Dave Magadan to and listen to Martinez's personal hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc on the Bradfo Sho podcast.