Martinez-Red Sox deal

Sox’s Eduardo Nunez celebrating with teammates during a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals in Boston. The Red Sox have re-signed Nunez to a one-year contract with a player option for 201

Red Sox lock up slugger JD Martinez with a five-year, $110M contract

If Christian Vazquez is the starting catcher that leaves the Red Sox bench with three spots.

The Yankees might still enter the year as AL East favorites depending on who you ask, but it won't be as resounding as it was without Martinez in the middle of Boston's lineup.

But don't presume the Red Sox are settling for Martinez because they were unable to get Giancarlo Stanton to waive his no-trade clause or produce the upper-level pitching prospects the Baltimore Orioles want in exchange for Manny Machado.

Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen has said all spring that the team's top priority was to add outfield depth, so Dyson might have been signed regardless of what happened with Martinez, who had 29 home runs and 65 RBIs in 62 games with Arizona last season.

Martinez reportedly received a whopping five-year, $110 million deal that features an opt-out after the second and third years.

Martinez has seven years of Major League Baseball experience, with the D-backs, Tigers and Houston Astros. Martinez had signed with the odds-on favorite to land him, the Boston Red Sox.

It took at least two months longer than industry insiders expected, in a historically sluggish free-agent market, for the sides to agree on terms of a deal that seemed all but inevitable when the offseason began.

Baltimore has worked out a minor league contract with Alex Presley, who batted.314 in 71 games for the 2017 Tigers.

"Oh man, just his approach, watching what he did before the game, it's impressive", says Price, Martinez's teammate with the Detroit Tigers in 2014-15. I just can't stand it.

As for the roster fit, the cramped left field dimensions at Fenway make for a nice way to hide Martinez's lack of range in the outfield.

Next year's free-agent class includes Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson, plus possible Clayton Kershaw.

There are potential downsides, of course.

The slow dance between the free agent slugger and the power-deficient team wrapped up Monday when they settled on a $110 million, five-year contract.

Martinez has spent a majority of his career as an outfielder, but it's likely he'll see most of his at-bats at designated hitter.

Martinez's injection of power into the lineup will hopefully also serve as a spark that inspires outfielder Mookie Betts to improve upon his somewhat disappointing 2017 season.

"He'll adapt to any role", agent Scott Boras said in December. "I can only speak for the Red Sox, we're going to have - we will most definitely have the highest payroll that we've ever had and you know other teams have to make their own decisions but we expect to be competitive and we expect to improve from our team a year ago". For the past four years, few players have done it better.

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