Boston Red Sox: J.D. Martinez an impressive addition to Sox lineup

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 24: J.D. Martinez /

After a long courtship, the Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms with free agent slugger J.D. Martinez.

The number one thing on the Boston Red Sox wish list entering this offseason was a big bat. Despite winning the AL East for the second year in a row, the team’s potential was capped by a lack of power.

That is no longer an issue.

News just broke that the Red Sox have signed former Arizona Diamondbacks slugger J.D. Martinez to a 5-year, $110 million contract. The deal includes an opt-out clause after 2 years.

Martinez, who had an incredible season in 2017, will look to help a Red Sox squad that had the fewest home runs and second lowest slugging percentage in the American League last season.

Meet the New Guy

J.D. Martinez should be a stranger to no one. In 2017, he had one of the most impressive seasons in recent memory. He batted .303 with a .376 OBP and a mind-blowing .690 slugging percentage (best in the MLB).

In addition to his impressive percentages, Martinez slugged 45 home runs in 119 games. Extrapolated over a full, 162-game season, he would have hit 61 home runs. That’s certainly optimistic, but it’s not totally far fetched given his statistics over the past few seasons.

Since 2014, Martinez boasts a .300 average and a 162-game average of 40 home runs. There’s almost no one as consistently powerful as he is year in and year out.

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His swing is reminiscent of his former teammate, Miguel Cabrera (minus some pull-side backspin). His swing puts the barrel on plane very early, giving him the ability to drive the ball to all fields. As a matter of fact, I would say that Martinez has better power to the opposite field than to the pull-side.

Martinez’ pull-side home runs often have top spin on them, which is a result of his uppercut bat-path once the barrel crosses through the hitting zone. He is going to hit a lot of balls off the Green Monster, and a lot of balls into the bullpen.

It’s About Time

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If he’s such a perfect fit, what took so long? The answer is stubbornness on both sides. Dave Dombrowski and agent Scott Boras found themselves in a stalemate for a long time, but Dombrowski finally came out on top.

Originally, Boras was looking for a 7-year, $200 million deal for Martinez. It became obvious early on that teams weren’t going to pay that premium for the slugger, but Boras and his client didn’t budge.

As the offseason went on, teams continued to low-ball the notorious agent. Finally, he gave in and accepted the Red Sox offer. It’s about time.

Now, the Boston Red Sox have filled all their voids. They could still use a left-handed reliever, but they’ll make due with what they’ve got at the beginning of the 2018 season. It’s shaping up to be a good one.

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