Victor Martinez led the majors in OPS this season and was the seventh-most valuable offensive player, according to FanGraphs' metrics. But as a 35-year-old who is almost unusable in the field at this point, the four-year deal Martinez is seeking, per CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, might be too lengthy for the majority of cost-conscious MLB teams.
Martinez, who will turn 36 in December, has established himself as one of the majors' more consistent hitters throughout his career, something that has continued into his mid-30s. His offensive value has certainly diminished since he moved away from the catcher position (he last played 100 games there in 2010 and has spent 31 games there since the start of 2011), but he projects to at least maintain his production during the next year or two, as we've seen no reason to expect otherwise.
Though he missed all of 2012 and hasn't come close to matching his 2014 production in any other year, Martinez has been steady since the start of 2009—when on the field. Throughout his entire career, his OPS+ has yet to dip below 113 during any full year, but Martinez also only played 127 games in 2010 and didn't play at all in 2012. While being a full-time DH will make life easier for the aging veteran, his health is a definite concern as he enters his late 30s, no matter how little time he spends on the field.
And yet, one team will certainly bite, even if it isn't the Tigers. Martinez made $50 million over his most recent four-year deal, carrying to the end of 2014, and he'll make a similar amount (probably more) after an MVP-caliber season.
The usual big spenders (Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc.) will be active players in the Martinez sweepstakes this offseason, but the Tigers likely won't be. Having already committed millions to players like Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera through their late 30s, the Tigers will be wary of doing the same to Martinez, and GM Dave Dombrowski doesn't have an endless budget with which to work. Expect V-Mart to head elsewhere this offseason.