The Red Sox would very much like J.D. Martinez, and he appears to be interested in Boston. The "Will they or won't they?" free-agent drama of the Hot Stove season is at a stalemate, and could stay that way for a while.
Martinez is willing to "hold out" into Spring Training to get what he considers his market value, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported. Heyman cited sources he calls "Miami acquaintances of Martinez" in his report, which indicated that the Red Sox have extended a five-year offer in the $120 million-$150 million range.
But the slugger is looking for more after a season in which he hit 45 home runs in 119 games with the Tigers and D-backs. Indications are that at least one other team has offered Martinez a five-year deal, according to Heyman. Martinez reportedly would prefer a six-year contract.
Martínez is not the first player to "hold-out" in Major League Baseball history as legends Joe DiMaggio, Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax, yet none of them ended up missing any games.
The Jays and D-backs have been linked to Martinez, but the Red Sox are still considered the heavy front-runner for his services for several reasons.
For one, they are a big-market team with an obvious need for a big bat, especially after a season in which their power production stalled significantly. Second, the Red Sox seem primed to make a counter move to keep up with the Yankees, who have made the biggest splash of the offseason by trading for National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton.
Martinez's monster second half (.306/.372/.751, 31 homers) rivaled -- and in some metrics outpaced -- Stanton's second half (.287/.393/.702, 33 homers), after Martinez caught fire following a trade to Arizona. He's reportedly committed to cashing in on those numbers, even if it means waiting a little longer than usual.