By Danny Picard
BOSTON — I want to like the J.D. Martinez signing. I really do.
He hit 45 home runs in 119 games last season. He was third in all of baseball in 2017 with an OPS of 1.066, behind Aaron Judge and Mike Trout. And the Boston Red Sox are in need of some power after hitting just 168 home runs last year, the fourth-lowest home-run total in the majors.
But I can’t get over the fact that Martinez and the Red Sox need each other much more than they may actually want each other. So it seems.
When Martinez’ five-year, $110 million deal was announced earlier this week, the perception was that Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski had reaped the benefits of staying patient.
Patience is a virtue, in this case, but only because nobody else wanted to pay the 30-year-old slugger.
In early February, Ken Rosenthal reported that Martinez was “fed up” with the Red Sox and their reported $100 million offer. Martinez’ agent, Scott Boras, immediately denied that his client had expressed those feelings.
Now, the two sides have agreed to a contract, and you’ll hear about all the good things Martinez will bring to the Red Sox, as they try to win their third straight division title. What you won’t hear is that Martinez is only coming to Boston because nobody wanted to pay him what a 40-home-run hitter is usually worth.