Finally… Finally… the Boston Red Sox have held an introductory press conference for slugger J.D. Martinez. After a week’s worth of waiting, Boston finally introduced their free agent signing accompanied by his agent Scott Boras. President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski and Manager Alex Cora were there to sing the praises of their new hitter and finally present him with the No. 28 Red Sox jersey.
“It’s been a long process and I’m happy to just put everything behind me. I’m excited for the task at hand,” said Martinez as he was introduced. Martinez claimed the delay was attributed to the fact he had to return to Boston for his physical last Thursday, but he never once worried about the deal not getting done. However, Boras mentioned that the Red Sox were indeed concerned over the lisfranc injury in the foot that was flagged in the medical and the club added protections in the 4th and 5th years of the deal, assuming Martinez doesn’t exercise one of his opt-outs prior to then. The protection clause added to the deal implies to 60 days on the DL in one season or 120 cumulative due to ligament injury to the specific joint (only for years four and five of the deal).
With all of that behind them, the two sides officially announced the deal on Monday, and Martinez was chomping at the bit to get to work with his new (and some former) teammates. “This is a historic franchise and brining a championship back to Boston is the ultimate goal. They say at Fenway every night is like Monday Night Football. I love this game. I love to play, and to play in front of fans who are just as passionate is exciting,” Martinez said during his presser.
Alex Cora was quick to sing the praises of the former Tigers and Dbacks power hitter both at the plate and in the clubhouse as a leader. “He’ll be in the three or the four spot, he’s not only a home run hitter, he’s a complete hitter,” Cora said. Dave Dombrowski was excited to wrap up the saga around the free agent and add a familiar face to the heart of his order, “This is a big day for the Red Sox organization. It’s come to a fruitful end and we’re absolutely thrilled.”
As for me, I’m also excited to have Martinez officially locked up and soon to be smacking baseballs around the yard in the middle of the Red Sox order. You’ve heard me run through the stats before, but bottom line is a team that won 93-games and was lacking in the power department just brought back the same team with a younger manager with more upside and added a monster in the middle of the order that hit 45 dingers last season.
So yeah, I was nervous they were going to piss him off there last week, but it’s all water under the bridge now and even David Price helped recruit Martinez and that will go a long way for Boston fans. “David’s always spoken very well and very highly and especially of the fan base and pitching in that ballpark and how fun it is to go out there every day,” Martinez said.
2018 is looking up and the Yankees and Astros aren’t as imposing as they appeared just a few weeks ago. J.D. Martinez just changed the equation in the American League, and the Red Sox are glad to finally have him playing baseball.
Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank