BOSTON (CBS) — J.D. Martinez is sticking around.

The MVP talent faced a deadline Monday which forced him to choose whether to stay with the Red Sox or opt out and become a free agent. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Martinez has chosen to stay with the team — for now.

While the news is positive for Boston in the moment, Martinez will have the option to opt out once again after the upcoming season.

Martinez signed a five-year, $110 million deal with Boston prior to the 2018 season. He’s since put together two All-Star seasons, winning two Silver Slugger Awards in 2018 and also finishing fourth in MVP voting while helping the Red Sox to a World Series title. This past season, his batting average dipped to .304 but he still maintained a .939 OPS while belting 36 home runs and 33 doubles while driving in 105 runs.

Martinez is due to make $23.75 million in 2020, after which he can stay with the Red Sox for roughly $19.4 million per year in 2021 or 2022, or he can opt out and become a free agent.

Martinez’s decision adds some clarity to the work that lies ahead for new Red Sox chief baseball officer, Chaim Bloom. The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier noted on Twitter that Martinez’s decision to stick with the Red Sox would not necessarily mean that the Red Sox might not end up trading him.

Mookie Betts is entering his final season under Red Sox control, and it’s expected that he will command a record-setting contract on the open market after the 2020 season. With Bloom preaching the merits of sustainability at his introductory press conference, it’s unclear if the Red Sox would be willing to have both Martinez and Betts on the payroll with top-of-the-market salaries.


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