Boston Red Sox All-Star slugger J.D. Martinez has to decide if he wants to stay aboard or simply opt out of the $62.5 million remaining over three years on his current contract.
Once the 2019 World Series concludes, Martinez has to make a choice within five days. The Red Sox, of course, could offer Martinez a more lucrative contract in order to retain his services.
But according to Christopher Smith of MassLive.com, the Red Sox "have not made a new offer to" the 32-year-old Martinez. Red Sox principal owner John Henry added that they don't "know" what Martinez will decide on.
The Red Sox signed Martinez to a five-year deal worth $110 million prior to the start of the 2018 season. The contract he signed featured three opt-outs - for 2020, 2021 and 2022. If he opts in, Martinez will have a $23.75 million base salary, per Spotrac.com.
Boston fired president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski before the conclusion of the 2019 season, less than a year after the team won its fourth World Series of the 21st century.
The Red Sox have emphasized their need to cut back on payroll, and new general manager Chaim Bloom will be tasked with trying to help this team get under the luxury tax for next year. Losing Martinez in free agency would provide a helping hand in that regard, but Boston would then be without its top slugger - with no cheap replacement options available.
Boston also has to make a decision on 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts, who has already said that his expectation is to enter free agency when his contract expires next year. Ownership can either extend Betts, trade him or simply retain the 27-year-old and try to win another World Series next year. Needless to say, the times are tense in the organization as they try to determine the futures of their top two players.
Martinez Faces Extremely Difficult Decision
Given his recent production, one would expect Martinez to receive a much more lucrative contract compared to the remaining terms and dollars he could opt-in to. But the free agent market has been slow for sluggers in recent years, just look at Edwin Encarnacion and Nelson Cruz. Martinez is also 32 years of age, and his defense leaves a lot to be desired. So Martinez and agent Scott Boras really face a tough decision, but they have to reach one shortly.