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MLB free agency: Red Sox, others to meet with J.D. Martinez

The most coveted free agent bat is en route to Orlando.

MLB: NL Wildcard-Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Free agent slugger J.D. Martinez is headed down south to the Winter Meetings, and the Red Sox and other teams will be waiting to greet him.

After the Yankees made an immediate splash by acquiring Giancarlo Stanton and his 59 home runs, the Red Sox are looking for a response to their AL East rivals. Martinez is the biggest bat on the free agent market, after clubbing 45 homers with the Tigers and Diamondbacks last season, helping Arizona to a playoff spot.

The Red Sox, despite winning the division in 2017, ranked 27th in baseball last season in home runs and 26th in slugging percentage. They are considered to be one of the biggest players in a market for a power hitter, whether it be Martinez or Eric Hosmer.

Boston has also been reported to be shopping center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. for an offensive upgrade, which could still be a possibility if the Red Sox decide Martinez isn’t a fit for Boston.

The Diamondbacks would like to keep Martinez after seeing what he can do last season, but are not confident they would be able to keep him in Arizona if a bidding war ensues, according to Jon Heyman.