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MLB free agency: J.D. Martinez frustrated with Red Sox negotiations

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

Top free-agent slugger J.D. Martinez has grown frustrated with negotiations between him and the Red Sox, sources told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

As first reported by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Martinez has told people in Miami that he is willing to “hold out” into spring training until he receives a fair offer for his services. Martinez reportedly received a five-year, $125 million from Boston.

Along with this, Martinez “is telling people that he is fed up with the Red Sox’s inflexibility and would rather sign with another club,” according to Rosenthal’s sources.

The offer seems low for a player like Martinez, a right fielder who 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 for a while that he is their No. 1 choice for a power hitter. The Red Sox ranked 27th in baseball last year in home runs and 26th in slugging percentage, leaving a major need for a bat in the middle of their lineup.

However, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told Rosenthal that “he will continue to take a wait-and-see approach, citing the potential for other opportunities to arise due to the slow-developing free-agent market—not simply opportunities with free agents, but also opportunities with trades.” Even though Martinez has drawn interest from the Dbacks, Giants, Rockies, Blue Jays and Dodgers this offseason, the Red Sox are the only known club that has made an offer, making it unlikely that they will improve their offer.

Dombrowski also said that bringing back first baseman Mitch Moreland made the Red Sox “essentially complete.” Though he acknowledged the Red Sox “would benefit from the addition of a middle-of-the-order hitter,” Dombrowski added that “the reality is that we do have Hanley (Ramirez) as a DH. If he bounces back, which we think he can, we have somebody for every position we like.”

Because of this stance, it’s understandable that Martinez would want to go play somewhere else. However, it would be hard to imagine that he would go through spring training without signing a nine-figure deal.