J.D. Martinez Opts into Contract to Remain with the Boston Red Sox

J.D. Martinez
BOSTON, MA - JULY 27: J.D. Martinez #2 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after hitting a two run home run during the fourth inning of a game against the New York Yankees on July 27, 2019 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

J.D. Martinez to Remain in Boston

Boston Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez is opting into his contract to remain with the team for the 2020 season. Martinez is now set to make $23.75 million in the upcoming season, and will remain the anchor in an uncertain Boston lineup.

Along with his option this offseason, Martinez still has two more opt-outs remaining in his current deal. The next option will take place after the 2020 season, and then another one after the 2021 season.

The slugger’s contract does take a hit in the final two seasons. If he opts-in following each of the next two seasons, he will only earn about $19 million. Still, not a bad deal for a player entering his mid-30s, and he likely won’t see much time in the outfield in the future.

Future Implications

Martinez gives Boston security for at least one more season in one of the most uncertain offseasons in recent memory. This move could have major implications as to what Chaim Bloom chooses to do with his former MVP, Mookie Betts. With Martinez committing to stay for now, this gives Boston more flexibility when it comes to moving their star. As a result, they won’t need to worry about having a hole in the middle of their lineup. Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, and now Martinez, will hold down the Boston lineup — not a bad group considering three of those four have been in the MVP discussion in each of the last two seasons.

Bloom may now see this as an avenue to move on from Betts and maximize the asset. There is just one year remaining on the right fielder’s deal, and Betts has been very noncommittal in preliminary contract extension discussions. This could be a good time for Bloom to identify good, young talent—which he did so well in Tampa—and make a move for the present and the future to extend Boston’s window.

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