Star free-agent slugger J.D. Martinez has discussed with the Red Sox that he is open to being their designated hitter and play the outfield for them, a source told Evan Drelich of NBC Sports Boston.
However, other teams that Martinez has talked to have offered him ”a full-time outfield job,” Drelich says, and Martinez prefers to go to a team ”that has a corner outfield vacancy,” according to Michael Silverman of The Boston Herald. Because of these circumstances and the fact that Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts currently occupy left and right fields, respectively, the indication is that the Red Sox would have to pay more than any other club going after Martinez, Silverman says.
Martinez, a right fielder, is coming off a breakout season in which he blasted 45 home runs and had 104 RBI while slashing .303/.376/.690 in 119 games while splitting time with the Tigers and the Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old’s astonishing display of power after the trade deadline helped Arizona earn its first playoff berth since 2011.
The Red Sox have made it known to Martinez that he is their ”first choice” for a power hitter, Silverman said. However, teams such as the Dbacks, Giants, Rockies, Blue Jays and Dodgers have been interested in Martinez this offseason. Because of the level of interest, Martinez and his agent Scott Boras are seeking a contract worth $200 million.