J.D. Martinez signs with Boston Red Sox

According to reports, free agent J.D. Martinez signs a 5 year deal with the Boston Red Sox worth $110 million. There is an opt-out after the first two years.

Martinez, a 30-year-old outfielder and designated hitter, split the 2017 season with the Detroit Tigers and the Arizona Diamondbacks. He enjoyed a career year, hitting .303/.376/.690 while smashing 45 home runs and 104 RBI. His .690 slugging percentage led all of baseball. There perhaps was not any other pending free agent that improved their stock in a shorter time period than J.D. Martinez did in 2017.

J.D. Martinez signs with Boston Red Sox

Martinez missed all of April and a third of May due to a right ankle sprain but thrived in the 119 games that he appeared in. After returning from the injury, he had a solid first half. Following a trade to the Diamondbacks on July 18, his offensive output took off. In Detroit, his slash line was .305/.388/.630. Once he headed west to Chase Field, his slash was .302/.366/.741.

His ability to hit for average and reach base moderately changed, but what did change was his power. In his 232 at-bats in Arizona, he hit 29 home runs. In the Motor City, he hit just 16 in 257 at-bats. Martinez matched his home run total of 16 with the Tigers in the month of September alone.

He was a perfect fit in the launching pad that is Chase Field and was arguably one of the most significant additions before the trade deadline. Martinez was the key piece to push the Diamondbacks from meddling hopeful to postseason contender.

Martinez leans heavily on his bat, and rightfully so, though his defensive prowess has always been his biggest question mark. His advanced fielding metrics have improved after a dreadful 2016 where he was the second worst fielder in the league according to defensive runs saved with -22. He is still considered a liability in the field, and Martinez may be best suited as a DH.

In his six-year career, Martinez holds a 162 game average of a .282 average, 32 home runs, and 100 RBI. He was an all-star and silver slugger in 2015.

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