J.D. Martinez will be back with the Red Sox in 2022, and Boston’s chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom is pleased about the slugger’s decision.
Martinez had until 5 p.m. ET Sunday to make a choice regarding his future plans. He has one more year remaining on his contract with the Red Sox, but he could have opted out and explored free agency. Instead, he’ll remain on the Red Sox’s books for $19.35 million.
The Red Sox also had several club options to decide on before Sunday’s deadline, but Martinez held all the power in this situation. And with the uber-important slugger potentially expected to play a bigger role in 2022 should the league adopt the universal designated hitter, it would have been understandable if he tried to get a better deal on the open market.
Nothing was guaranteed, and Bloom acknowledged that when speaking to reporters via Zoom on Sunday evening.
“Certainly happy that he’s with us,” Bloom said. “He’s such a force in the lineup. Not only what he produces, but how he transforms what the lineup looks like around him. How he changes the conversation in the cage, the preparation for games. So we’re very, very excited that he’s back with us.
“You know, this was one, stepping back and looking at it. I don’t know that there was any outcome that would have surprised us, but we’re really glad that he decided to stay.”
The decision also impacts what the Red Sox will do moving forward — and they’ll need to do something to boost the power in the lineup since midseason addition Kyle Schwarber chose not to return. With both Martinez and catcher Christian Vázquez returning — and an $18.4 million qualifying offer extended to Eduardo Rodriguez — the move also packs a punch to the Red Sox payroll. The luxury tax threshold for the 2022 season is not yet set.
Bloom didn’t seem concerned about that though, telling reporters the team still plans to consider external options to build out the roster. So if nothing else, it seems the Red Sox are in for an interesting offseason.