The Boston Red Sox look poised to make a splash this winter, and a reunion of sorts might be the most logical move.
The Red Sox already have been tied to the Miami Marlins in talks centering around outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, but Boston also has been linked to free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez.
And it’s Martinez who might be the most likely player to land in Boston, at least according to an ESPN.com survey of baseball insiders. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick polled “40 general managers, assistant GMs, baseball operations people and scouts” about some of the biggest names and storylines set to play out this offseason, and when the topic of Martinez came up, 23 of the 40 people surveyed predicted he’d wind up with the Red Sox.
As Crasnick points out, there’s familiarity between Martinez and Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who signed Martinez in 2014 while serving as general manager of the Detroit Tigers.
The obvious question regarding Martinez, however, will be the price tag. With super agent Scott Boras calling the shots, Martinez is said to be looking for a $200 million contract. Yet Crasnick says some expect Martinez to land a contract resembling the five-year, $106 million pact Justin Upton has with the Los Angeles Angels.
“I think Boras will try to position him with past elite free-agent bat deals — like Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols,” a general manager told Crasnick. “But he’ll likely end up in the $140 million range over six years.”
FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron on Monday released his list of top 50 free agents, with Martinez occupying the No. 2 slot. Cameron predicted a six-year, $156 million contract for the slugger, who posted a .303 batting average with 45 home runs and 104 RBIs over 119 total games between the Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks.
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