The Red Sox have officially signed outfielder J.D. Martinez to a five-year, $110 million deal as FanRag’s Jon Heyman and ESPN’s Pedro Gomez first reported last week. A source told SB Nation last Monday that the sides were close to agreement.
The deal includes three opt-outs, after each of the final three seasons of the deal. It’s front-loaded in a way that will allow Martinez to be guaranteed $50 million over the first two seasons and $72 million over the first three years, meaning he’ll have the option to opt into a three-year, $55 million deal after 2019, a two-year, $38.7 million deal after 2020 or a one-year, $19.35 million contract after 2021.
Boston has long been considered the favorite for Martinez, the top outfielder available on this year’s free-agent market. The sides have been discussing a deal for months, with the slow overall market leading to an impasse longer than any we’ve seen in free-agent negotiations for years.
If a deal is finalized, Martinez will join Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. as outfield options for the Sox, giving the club a strong designated hitter option and power bat that has been missing since David Ortiz retired after the 2016 campaign. Martinez will likely be the starting DH and see some time in the outfield, with Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland splitting time at first base.
Martinez, 30, is coming off a monster season in which he hit .303/.376/.690 with 45 homers and 104 RBI with the Tigers and D-Backs. He was especially effective for Arizona after a trade deadline deal, hitting 29 homers in 62 games as the team clinched an NL Wild Card spot and advanced to the NLDS.
Martinez also drew drawn interest from the Diamondbacks, Giants, Blue Jays and others this winter, though Boston has been considered the obvious landing spot since November. Arizona has already made a move to replace him, inking Jarrod Dyson to a two-year pact.
Martinez’s deal is the third-largest of the winter so far, behind Hosmer’s eight-year, $144 million deal with the Padres and Darvish’s six-year, $126 million deal with the Cubs. Top free-agents Jake Arrieta, Mike Moustakas, Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn and Jonathan Lucroy remain on the market.
For a full look at where the free-agent market stands, check out our updated free-agent tracker.