JD Martinez summed up the feelings of Red Sox nation with a brief tweet he sent on Tuesday night.
Martinez tweeted a sad face emoji, minutes after reports said David Price and Mookie Betts had been traded by Boston to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It’s hard not to feel his disappointment.
In 2018, the Red Sox won 108 games, mowed through some great competition in the playoffs, and won the World Series. They were among the best teams of the modern era.
16 months later, they have fired their manager, general manager, and traded their best player and pitcher. The Red Sox are shedding salary and rebuilding while seemingly admitting they’re not on the level of the divisional rival Yankees.
While the baseball world digests MLB’s penalties against the Houston Astros, others have one eye on what might happen to another contending franchise.
The Boston Red Sox have been accused of using a video replay room to illegally relay signs to hitters during the 2018 season, in which they won the World Series. The league’s investigation is ongoing, and there is no timetable for its conclusion.
One Red Sox star, outfielder J.D. Martinez, said Saturday that he is very confident that the league will find nothing and the team will be exonerated.
There’s not a lot Martinez can say as the investigation is ongoing, but it’s a pretty bold pronunciation. Manager Alex Cora has already lost his job over the scandal, though that had as much to do with what he did with the Houston Astros as it does the investigation into Boston. Still, the Red Sox risk being found to be repeat offenders after their use of an Apple Watch in 2017, which would likely bring significant penalties. We’ll have to wait and see, but this quote runs the risk of aging terribly.
JD Martinez had the option of becoming a free agent and signing a new contract this winter, but the Boston Red Sox slugger has decided to stay put for at least another year.
Martinez will not opt out of his contract, according to multiple reports. He holds player options for each of the next three seasons, so he is only committing to 2020 by not opting out now.
The first of Martinez’s three option years is worth the most, so that may have factored into his decision. He will earn $23.75 million in 2020, whereas opting in for 2021 and/or 2022 would be worth $19.3 million each season.
Martinez has been one of the best hitters in baseball since he signed with the Red Sox prior to the 2018 season. He hit .330 with 43 home runs and 130 RBI last season and was a huge part of the reason Boston won the World Series. The 32-year-old followed that up with another productive year in 2019, hitting .304 with 36 home runs and 105 RBI.
While Martinez sticking around is certainly good news for the Red Sox, it could make it less likely that they will keep Mookie Betts, who is expected to command a record contract in his final year of arbitration eligibility. The team basically already admitted that keeping both Martinez and Betts in 2020 will be difficult, though it’s also possible they could shop Martinez in trade talks.
The Boston Red Sox are aiming to cut payroll for the 2020 season, and it seems increasingly likely it will lead to the departure of a big name.
Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy said Monday that it was possible that the team could keep both Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez for 2020, but conceded that it would be “difficult” to do so given their contract status.
In other words, it’s more likely than not that one or the other will be playing somewhere else on Opening Day 2020. The team has openly stated that they want to cut payroll to get below the luxury tax threshold, and that means trades are coming. Martinez has an opt-out clause in his contract that he’s hinted at exercising, which would alleviate some pressure on Boston’s payroll. However, Betts will make north of $20 million and is entering the final season of team control. Contract negotiations have so far yielded no deal, and as long as that’s the case, there’s a growing chance that the team could opt to trade him and replenish their farm system while clearing even more space on the payroll. Whatever happens, it’s pretty clear that the top of the organization is embracing a new, cheaper philosophy.
The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees showed fans in London what an offensive explosion looks like with their 17-13 slugfest on Saturday, and that theme continued on Sunday.
After the two teams combined for six home runs in their first game at London Stadium, the Red Sox went deep three times in the bottom of the first on Sunday. Xander Bogaerts got things started with a two-run shot, and JD Martinez immediately followed with a solo homer of his own.
Catcher Christian Vazquez then belted a solo shot two batters later.
Depending on who you ask, the fans in London are either getting treated to some great baseball or some really bad baseball. They appear to be quite knowledgeable about the game judging by the reception they gave one umpire, so we’re guessing they enjoy the long ball just as much as we do back in America.
By any measure, J.D. Martinez had a remarkable 2018 season. The Boston Red Sox DH hit .330 with 43 home runs and a league-best 130 RBIs, but those numbers were only good enough for a fourth-place finish in the race for American League MVP.
It turns out Martinez wasn’t remotely surprised by that finish, because he had grown to accept that a player whose primary role is as a designated hitter would have to have an unparalleled offensive season to claim the award.
Ultimately, Martinez is correct. More and more voters factor defense into the MVP conversation, and that was one reason why his teammate Mookie Betts, a good defender who’s so versatile that the Red Sox considered sticking him in the infield at times, claimed the trophy. It’s not Martinez’s fault that he makes no defensive contributions as a DH, but it definitely hurt him.
The Boston Red Sox could be without a key member of their lineup for Game 3 of the World Series.
During Game 1 on Tuesday, Martinez twisted his ankle while running the bases after hitting an RBI double. Martinez may have been fine to play if the DH were available, but with the series shifting to Los Angeles, Martinez’s ankle may not allow him to play the outfield on Friday.
“We’ll see,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told MLB.com regarding Martinez’s status. “Actually, he felt better today walking around. He got treatment on the way here. He’ll get treatment Friday morning. In the afternoon, we’ll make a decision.”
In 11 games this postseason, Martinez is batting .333/.429/.538 with two home runs and 13 RBI. If his ankle doesn’t respond well to treatment, Cora would be missing a substantial bat for a game that could be put the Red Sox on the brink of another championship.
JD Martinez twisted his ankle while running the bases on an RBI double he smacked during the bottom of the third inning of Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday.
Martinez was up for the Boston Red Sox with Steve Pearce on first and two outs and drove a ball off the center field wall against Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw. Pearce was able to score thanks to the deep drive, and Martinez was thinking triple as he approached second base. However, he slipped on the base and then rolled his right ankle. Martinez had to scramble back to second after falling.
Martinez was looked at by trainers but remained in the game.
Martinez had two hits and two RBIs at that point, so he was delivering in a big way for Boston. The status of his ankle will be something to watch over the rest of the series.
The Boston Red Sox owe umpire Chris Guccione a thank you for the assist on JD Martinez’s home run in Game 5 of the ALCS on Thursday.
Martinez was batting with one out in a scoreless game and had an 0-2 count. Justin Verlander painted the outside corner with a beautiful slider, but Guccione inexplicably called it a ball. MLB.com’s tracker shows the pitch was over the corner and in the strikezone.
The very next pitch, Verlander hung a breaking ball that Martinez launched over the left field wall for a solo home run to put Boston up 1-0 on the Houston Astros.
Martinez should have been retired on a strikeout looking for the second out of the inning. Instead he ends up accounting for the first run of the game.
Between this and what happened in Game 4, the Astros have to be furious with the umpires.
One of the flashpoints of the ALDS was the use of the song “New York, New York,” right at the center of a lot of mutual Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees trolling. One Red Sox star warned Friday, however, that you probably shouldn’t expect a repeat in the ALCS.
The Red Sox are preparing to face the Houston Astros in the best-of-seven series, and Boston outfielder J.D. Martinez isn’t predicting a repeat of the team’s musical shenanigans against Houston.
This was, in fact, a major talking point during the ALDS, and the source of some actual anger. While the stakes are high on the field between the AL’s two best teams, the historical animosity off it simply doesn’t exist. Maybe some tensions will be inflamed during the action, but things are probably going to be a bit calmer in terms of trash talk.