Red Sox Lose Another Core Member of 2018 Team To Dodgers

JD Martinez

JD Martinez Signs One-Year Deal With Dodgers

On December 17th, 2022, the Los Angeles Dodgers bolstered their roster by signing veteran J.D. Martinez to a 1-year, 10 million dollar contract. The acquisition of Martinez bolsters the Dodger’s lineup with one of baseball’s steadiest hitters, who has hit a combined 85 doubles over the past two seasons.

While Martinez will serve as an experienced veteran in the clubhouse, he also gives Los Angeles an excellent option for both DH and occasional corner outfielder should injury arise in 2023. 

What’s Next For The Red Sox?

Following the departure of Martinez, the Boston Red Sox will have to search for other right-handed designated hitter options in 2023. A few possibilities are Brandon Drury, Trey Mancini, and former Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner. 

Regardless of their direction, it’s clear that Martinez’s absence leaves a massive hole in terms of leadership and overall productivity at the plate. He led the league in doubles last season and has been a mainstay in the heart of the Red Sox order for half a decade. 

JD Martinez’s Impact On The Red Sox

When JD Martinez signed with the Red Sox before the 2018 offseason, it was a major coup for the team when they needed an offensive spark with the retirement of David Ortiz in 2016.

After struggling to score runs in 2017, general manager Dave Dombrowski went after big-name free agent J.D. Martinez – who had just hit 45 home runs for Arizona & Detroit the season prior – to help turn things around. The move worked; Boston won the AL East with a franchise record 108 wins and defeated the Dodgers 4 games to 1 in the World Series. 

Overall he made an indelible mark on Red Sox history and will go down as one of their best free-agent acquisitions. He helped them return to prominence following a few years of mediocre success, and it can be said without hesitation without him, they would not have won their fourth World Series title in 2018. 

Another Costly Mistake By Chaim Bloom

Chaim Bloom not trading J.D. Martinez at the trade deadline was another missed opportunity for the Red Sox. Rather than trading the veteran hitter for some prospects that could have benefited the team down the line, they let him walk for absolutely nothing in return.

Martinez, Bogaerts, and Eovaldi could have been moved to get assets while resetting the luxury tax to help them this off-season. Re-setting the tax would have allowed them to spend over the current threshold on free agents while maintaining draft picks and international slot money. This was another mistake by the club’s team president.

Should The Sox Have Re-Signed JD?

Given the money left to spend before they reach the first luxury tax threshold, I believe the Red Sox should have tried to retain him for next season. He is a reliable hitter they could have plugged into the middle of the order while maintaining some clubhouse identity after the departure of Xander Bogaerts. A one-year, high-money deal would have been perfect for the Sox to make. But obviously, they thought otherwise.

Overall, we’ll just have to see how they respond in the coming weeks.

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