Cotillo: Red Sox JD Martinez “Could Sign Elsewhere” Next Season

Why there's a real possibility the Red Sox could lose JD Martinez after this season.

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The Red Sox have have been all about extensions this offseason. Chris Sale, Xander Bogaerts are locked up long term. The Sox are all ears should Mookie Betts ever want to chat. JD Martinez? Not so much.

The Sox of course signed Martinez to a 5 year deal prior to the 2018 season but there is a mutual opt out after the 2019 season. Mass Live’s Chris Cotillo who is the new host of the Red Sox Beat podcast on CLNS Media says Red Sox fans have real cause for concern.

“Martinez I think this is an offseason story that really flew under the radar.” Cotillo said.

Cotillo says he was taken aback by how little the Red Sox seem interested in working out an extension with Martinez after speaking to general manager Dave Dombroswki at the GM meetings after the season.

“We asked him (Dombrowski) about Chris Sale, Mookie [Betts] and then I asked him, ‘What about JD Martinez?’ Cotillo said.

“Dave Dombroskwi said ‘we put those opt outs in there for a reason. There’s a medical issue (foot) that medical has not gone away and we’re not interested in a long term extension.’

Martinez’s foot was the issue that caused a snag in the original deal and resulted in the mutual opt-outs. If the Red Sox DH opts in he will be due roughly $60 million over the final 3 seasons of his deal. Given the type of production Martinez can contribute one would think he could get more on the open market.

Martinez’s agent Scot Boras recently hinted that an opt out was likely.

“This guy is some kind of hitter,” Boras told Rob Bradford of WEEI. “He and (Anthony) Rendon (also a Boras client) are probably going to be the two most focused on offensive players on the market as far as guys who are elite offensive players. Yeah … not that I think about those things.”

Cotillo however insists, if that’s the route Martinez chooses to go he shouldn’t count on the Sox among the potential bidders.

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“To me Martinez was never an extension candidate, now seems more likely to opt out this fall,” Cotillo said. “If Martinez looks a that (foot) and says I don’t think is an issue that could be a problem in negotiations. I think the possibility of JD signing elsewhere could really be a thing.

“Obviously last year was amazing, and he’s off to hot start now and he’s underpaid, that’s clear. He might just test the market just because even with depressed market there may be some team willing to extend that guarantee. Whether its the Red Sox or someone else i think that they see him as maybe a guy who might kinda need to be taken off the payroll maybe to resign Mookie [Betts] which is unfortunate. But there’s been no prioritization from Martinez by the Red Sox so far. There’s been no will or want to negotiate with him.”