"With both [Victor Martinez] and [Josh Beckett], we'll stick to a policy on not commenting," Red Sox GM Theo Epstein told the Boston Herald on Monday. "The more clubs talk about potential deals for free agents, the less likely they are to get done."
And with that statement to the media, a spring training of speculation has been set into motion.
The comment was made by Epstein when he was told of Martinez's comments to the Herald, in which he said he hopes to spend the rest of his career in a Red Sox uniform. Though Epstein doesn't comment on any potential negotiations, Martinez's statements didn't seem to go unappreciated.
"It's always nice when players want to be here," Epstein told the Herald. "We've got talented guys on this team that we’d like to keep around. We'll see what happens."
If we do see what happens, it's going to have to be before April 4.
"As soon as the season starts, I don’t want to be talking about numbers or be talking about something that can distract me from the game and distract my teammates," Martinez explained to the paper. "That’s the last thing I want with this great team they’ve put together. Maybe, who knows, they come to me in spring training with something. Honestly, I’m all open now until the season starts. As soon as the season starts, I barely talk to my mom."
Martinez is 31 years old, coming off one of his best offensive seasons of his consistent career. He batted .303 with 23 home runs and 108 RBIs for Cleveland and Boston while playing in an impressive 155 games. He's played in 141 or more games in five of his six full seasons in the majors. He said he thinks the Red Sox may want to see him catch for a full season in Boston, and based on Epstein's comments, Martinez may not be far off.
"We think that having him catch and catch a lot puts us in a good position to win," Esptein said of Martinez. "Obviously, we’ll monitor it as we go, and [Terry Francona] makes good adjustments. We've asked Victor to prepare himself physically to catch a lot and we're going to see how it goes. We're excited about it."
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