The Boston Red Sox have a rich history of sluggers, as the likes of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were pivotal pieces in the BoSox’s most recent World Series championships. Now, after a couple of failed signings that were initially designed to usher in the next era of Red Sox sluggers – cough, cough Pablo Sandoval and Carl Crawford – Martinez looks to be the bat Boston needs to stay atop the AL East.
As of May 25, Martinez’s slash line is incredibly impressive at .328/.383/.645. So are the 15 home runs he’s already bombed for the Sox.
Yes, it looks like J.D.’s five-year, $110 million contract is going to be more than worth it, but we don’t blame Red Sox fans for being cautiously optimistic about how things might pan out. We already mentioned the failure of the Sandoval and Crawford deals, each of whom wouldn’t even play more than 165 games with the team before they parted ways with the club. Then, there’s also the fact that Martinez has never quite been “the guy” when it comes to hitting. Having spent most of his career in a Detroit Tigers uniform, Martinez was often overlooked by the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and, albeit briefly, Prince Fielder.
A strong relationship with former Tigers and current Boston general manager Dave Dombrowski helped put Martinez in a Boston uniform. Yes, it was for a steep price, but when Martinez is drawing praise as baseball’s best hitter from notable commentators like Frank Thomas, you can’t help but think that this signing is going to go down as a big win. Red Sox fans still have the likes of Ortiz and Ramirez fresh in their minds. It might not be too long before J.D. Martinez joins them in Red Sox lore.