We’re entering the weekend now and J.D. Martinez is still not officially a member of the Boston Red Sox. My level of concern over this situation is rising to Adam Jones of 98.5 The Sports Hub level of 8 on the 10 scale. I mean the first 24-48 hours sure its normal precudure for a deal to not be announced pending a physical, but it’s Friday evening after both sides agree to terms on Monday and now the whereabouts of the slugger are unknown even to Sox new skipper Alex Cora.
Nothing good comes out of this situation at this point. Either Martinez has a legitimate issue with a previous injury such as the sprained lisfranc ligament in his right foot, or there’s a further complication that has caused both sides to take a second look at all the details of the contract. It’s not unlike the Red Sox to mess around with a guys contract over the medical and really delay the process, just ask Mike Napoli who signed a three-year deal prior to the 2013 season and had to settle for a one-year deal filled with incentives. All signs of this point to trouble.
It already took this long for both sides to agree to terms on the five-year deal, imagine how long it’s going to take to work through whatever details were uncovered in this physical? Spring Training is already underway, Grapefruit League games are being played and now Martinez is missing time, practice and repetition with his new club. Not good, not good at all.
The Red Sox finally get their power bat in J.D. Martinez and now there’s a complication with his physical, no matter how you look at it. It’s more than just due diligence at this point, despite what the local media and beat reporters will lead you to believe. They’re waiting for the announcement and introductory press conference as well. We all are.
For now, we have no choice but to stand idly by and wait for the pending announcement or word to trickle out that the details of the contract will have to be reworked. Scott Boras has been known to include clauses in deals in the past involving preexisting injuries, basically along the lines of the contract becoming void if the pre-existing concern that was flagged in a medical becomes an issue and causes the player to miss time. That remains to be seen if this medical concern rises to that level, but you never know.
I don’t believe this deal is going to fall completely apart or Martinez’s camp will have to leave money on the table, but playing this game runs the risk of alienating the player before he even signs on the dotted line and fracturing the relationship with the ball club. There’s serious cause for concern over the delay in the finalizing of the introduction of J.D. Martinez that signals a medical complication.
Here’s to hoping an announcement is made over the weekend and the signing becomes official, but until Martinez is standing next to a podium at a table with Dave Dombrowksi, I will be concerned.
Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank