BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox appear to have one of the best available free agents in their sights. They will meet with slugger J.D. Martinez at baseball’s Winter Meetings this week, according to a report by ESPN’s Scott Lauber.
Red Sox president of baseball ops. Dave Dombrowski has said in recent interviews that the Red Sox are seeking a power hitter who can play first base or DH. Martinez has primarily played in the outfield over the course of his career, so he would almost certainly have to accept a positional change. Martinez has played 38 career games as a DH.
“We know who we want,” said Dombrowski, via ESPN. “There’s at least a pool of players that we want. I mean, I have the list in my pocket.”
Martinez’s agent Scott Boras is seeking a long-term contract worth $200 million for Martinez, who batted .303 with 45 home runs and 104 RBIs in just 119 games between the Tigers and Diamondbacks last season.
There may be injury concerns with Martinez, but his power is undeniable. He’s posted 162-game averages of 40 homers and 110 RBIs over the past four seasons. Assuming he can keep up the pace of his recent performances – and also stay healthy – he’d be a strong addition to the middle of a Red Sox lineup that is starved for power.