J.D. Martinez does not opt-out of current deal
Boston Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez has decided to forgo his opt-out clause and remain with the team, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. By not exercising his opt-out clause, Martinez chose to stay with the team for the time being, although the franchise’s financial restrictions could potentially make his stay with the team on its last days.
Fellow teammate Mookie Betts, who just claimed his fourth Gold Glove this week, is entering the final year of his contract, and upper brass for the Red Sox have publicly talked about how they would like to lower the team’s payroll, potentially even below the luxury-tax threshold, which will take over $30 million less in funds from their 2019 payroll to accomplish.
After the 2020 and ‘21 seasons, Martinez has the same option presented to him, but with how the market has been freezing out top-notch free agents recently, re-upping with Boston may have been the best option for Martinez. With what looks to be another season holding down the middle of the lineup for Boston in ‘20, Martinez will earn $23.75 million during his age-32 season.
The chances of both Betts and Martinez being on this team for the long haul gets slimmer and slimmer as the days go on, because of their financial implications. With Martinez earning a ton of money for a one-dimensional player and Betts due to cash in for the first time in his career, new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has a busy start to his time leading the Red Sox.
For Betts, the 27-year-old outfielder factors to earn a contract that may rival that of what both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado received this past offseason. Boston has absolutely no room in the payroll for that type of deal as the team currently looks, and any sort of deal would look to start around $30 million on an annual basis.
The times of Boston contending may be closing fast if money continues to hold them back, and Martinez opting in looks to be a big-time catalyst and cause of what may be coming down the road for this team.