BOSTON (CBS) — Normally when the hometown team signs one of the top free agents available to a contract, the fandom is giddy with excitement. And if they sign him to a deal well below what many thought the market price was going to be, they are off the charts happy!
That doesn’t seem to be the case with slugger J.D. Martinez, who agreed on a 5-year, $110-million dollar deal with the Red Sox on Monday. It has player opt-outs after two and three years. It looks like the perfect deal for Dave Dombrowski, for the power bat this lineup needs.
Martinez has proven to be a consistent slugger, although it took him a while to get where he wanted/needed to be.
Martinez was released by the Astros at age 25. He was picked up by Detroit, found a swing, and took off, averaging 32 home runs per season over these last four years. He hit 45 last season.
Sound familiar? It should.
David Ortiz was released by the Twins after his age 26 season. He signed with the Red Sox and over the next four seasons he averaged 43 home runs per year. Ortiz added 10 more seasons after that too, where he was almost a lock every year for 30 HRs and 100 RBIs.
Now, I’m not saying Martinez is going to be that productive, but he’s definitely trending up as he comes to Boston.
Another example? Jose Bautista. In August of 2008, he was traded from Pittsburgh to Toronto for a player to be named later. In September of 2009 he changed his swing (starting it earlier) and he took off. As in, in his age 29-32 seasons he averaged 38 home runs per year. J.D. Martinez is entering his age 30-33 seasons.
Martinez changed his swing. He went from a ground ball hitter to hitting the ball in the air. His launch angle changed and it worked. And, there’s no reason why his success, which has now happened over four years, can’t continue. He’s figured it out.