By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox agreed to terms with free-agent power hitter J.D. Martinez on Monday, according to several reports. But as of Thursday afternoon, the team had yet to officially announce the signing, and an introductory press conference has reportedly been delayed for two days now.
It all begs the question: What’s the holdup?
The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy, who’s been in Fort Myers covering the team since camp opened, asked the question on Twitter on Thursday, while the Sox were opening their spring slate of games against Northeastern.
With Shaughnessy, one can never exactly tell whether such a question is rhetorical conjecture, or whether it’s an informed opinion taking the shape of a question.
One reporter who’s been monitoring the situation closely has been NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich. On Wednesday, Drellich reported that the issue delaying the official signing was “logistical,” with the Red Sox “awaiting the results of Martinez’s medical exam(s), which can sometimes include different opinions from different doctors in different places.” Drellich reported that as of Wednesday, there was “no evidence” that the Red Sox had discovered something in the medical exams that was alarming.
On Thursday, Drellich’s reporting seemed to add at least a hint of question about the scenario, as agent Scott Boras has apparently been left in the dark.
Drellich cited some other big-money, high-profile signings which took a few days after initial reports before becoming official. He also speculated it could be something procedural — like taking out insurance — that could be delaying an official signing.
Ultimately, though, Drellich stuck with the overarching story that there is not reason for alarm. Yet.
ESPN’s Scott Lauber relayed a similar message.
Around 4 p.m. on Thursday, reporters received official word that a Martinez signing would not be announced.
Christopher Smith of MassLive.com added one wrinkle: Scott Boras was in town.
Maybe this will all be settled on Friday … but also, maybe not.
Considering Martinez missed the first month of last season with a foot injury, and considering he missed a large chunk of the 2016 season with a broken elbow, the delay naturally makes some wonder if something might be wrong.
But for now, worrying from the outside is all that’s taking place. And Red Sox Nation will have to wait at least another day for final confirmation that the team has indeed locked down its cleanup hitter.