BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — One of the big questions facing the Boston Red Sox this offseason has now been answered. JD Martinez has opted-in to the third year of his five year contract with the team.
Martinez, 32, batted .304 in 2019 to go along with 36 home runs,105 RBI's, and a .383 on base percentage, as he was relegated to mostly designated hitter duties this past season.
His lack of playing time in the outfield had many baseball minds believing there wouldn't be much of a market for the slugger if he chose to leave Boston and test free agency.
For Martinez, he's set to earn 23.75 million in 2020, and can re-evaluate his options this time next year, he and his agent Scott Boras built in opt-out clauses after the second, third and fourth years of the five-year, 110 million-dollar deal.
For the Red Sox, the good news is they get to keep their cleanup hitter for at least another season; Martinez helped anchor an offense that scored 901 runs, the most by a Red Sox team since 2005.
This move may mean the end of fan favorite and former AL MVP Mookie Betts' time in Boston, as the Sox ownership have made it clear that their goal is to get payroll under the 208 million dollar luxury tax threshold. That threshold also led to the hiring of Chaim Bloom as Chief Baseball Officer; the former Tampa Bay Rays executive helped field competitive teams despite having one of the smallest budgets in baseball.
Currently, the Red Sox payroll is projected to be around 234 Million, so the front office has their work cut out for them in the upcoming months if they hope to meet ownership's goal.
WBZ's Adam Kauffman has more on Martinez and the Red Sox: