Major League Baseball notes: JD Martinez, Red Sox reach 5-year deal


The Boston Red Sox have chose to add a powerful bat after hitting an American League-low 168 home runs last season.

The Red Sox reached an agreement with J.D. Martinez on a five-year, $110-million USA contract Monday, bringing the majors' leader in slugging percentage last season to a revitalized American League East rivalry.

There's a lot of baseball ahead, so the Red Sox's pitching could take a nose dive - or David Price could rebound and make them even better.

Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) hits a grand slam home run against the San Francisco Giants in the second inning at Chase Field.

Martinez, 30, turned in the best season of his career previous year by hitting.303 with 26 doubles, three triples, 45 home runs and 104 RBIs - both career highs - with Detroit and Arizona.

Third baseman Mike Moustakas is probably the best power hitter available with Gonzalez off the market, but now, no one seems interested in the 29-year-old slugger.

Ortiz's void in the heart of the lineup hamstrung the Sox in 2017, and after passing on Edwin Encarnacion last offseason, Dombrowski wouldn't make the same mistake twice. His salary is $20 million each year from 2018-22 and would be $13 million annually from 2023-25 if he doesn't terminate the deal. Boston sports fans have been clamoring for the Red Sox's response since Stanton put on the pinstripes. For now, though, just check out testimonials from folks who have gotten an up-close look at Martinez the past four years. "Kind of taking [Miguel Cabrera's] approach, hitting everything to right field, and [if] a pitcher throws you a breaking ball in the zone, you'll still be on time for that".

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Needing just one more homer for that vaunted four-homer game, Martinez faced Wilmer Font in the ninth and etched his place in history. "He really took a couple pages out of Miggy's book and he incorporated his own swing into it, and he's reaping the benefits". Martinez, 30, rode a career year in 2017 into free agency. They weren't going to beat the Yankees without J.D. Martinez.

Ordinarily, there would have been a more robust market for a player of Martinez's ability. As soon as they lost out on Martinez, the Diamondbacks reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the speedy Jarrod Dyson, a much different type of outfielder than Martinez.

And despite his preference for playing the outfield, Martinez will have to get used to a full-time designated hitter role.

"He'll adapt to any role", agent Scott Boras said in December.

Players finished with a winning record for the second time in three years, but only their fourth since 1996.

That's a fact. No consolation required.