J.D. Martinez is too busy to lean one direction or another regarding his future.
The Boston Red Sox slugger told WEEI’s Rob Bradford on Tuesday he’s “right in the middle” in terms of his decision whether to opt-in or out of the final year of his contract with the team. Martinez has until five days after the 2021 World Series ends to decide whether to exercise his $19.35 million player option for the 2022 season.
“I’m right in the middle,” Martinez told WEEI.com. “It’s a balancing line, and I’m right in the middle. I haven’t made a decision. I don’t worry about that stuff, but right now I’m right in the middle.”
Martinez and the Red Sox are locked in a heated race for one of the American League’s two Wild Card spots, so it’s easy to understand why the contract decision isn’t his primary focus in the final week of the regular season.
This is the third option the five-year, $110 million contract he signed with Boston in 2018 contains. He opted in in 2019 and 2020, providing a feared presence in the Red Sox lineup for most his tenure with the team.
Martinez is batting .285 with 27 home runs and 96 RBIs in this impressive rebound season, and Boston likely will be keen to retain him. How the market for his services forms in the coming weeks undoubtedly will factor into his interest in staying.