After a few months in the Valley, it looks like slugger J.D. Martinez is headed back east.
The 6-foot-6 Stanton, who topped the majors in home runs and was the NL MVP last team, joins a lineup with 6-7 Aaron Judge, the AL homer leader. He batted.394 (41-for-104) with runners in scoring position between the two clubs, the majors' second-highest mark behind only Washington's Daniel Murphy (.409). Nobody slugs that number long term, and Fenway Park certainly is not quite like Arizona's Chase Field, pre-humidor of course. Although he is not a perennial All-Star and doesn't quite boast the high-profile status of numerous free-agents of next winter, including Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, he has averaged 32 home runs from 2014-17 and has batted over.300 in three out of those four seasons.
After all, Martinez has played in more than 123 games in one of the past four seasons, which is when he surprisingly emerged as a star after the Houston Astros moved on, but nobody seems to be complaining about this.
Ordinarily, there would have been a more robust market for a player of Martinez's ability.
Moving to Boston really should not harm these fantastic numbers, by the way.
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Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said at the end of last season that his top priority was to acquire a power bat.
When pressed for more, specifically if he was "feeling the love from the fans", he said, "Yeah, that was a good performance".
"It feels good to put up zeros in the playoffs, " he said. Martinez addresses that need in a big way. Perhaps it keeps him healthier.
The Diamondbacks wanted to keep Martinez, so they brought on his personal hitting coach as a consultant. Even if my wife starts talking negatively, I let her know. It should not stop anyone from acquiring Seattle designated hitter Nelson Cruz, for example, and Martinez is a lot younger and similarly productive. Neither deal would have been necessary if only the Sox hadn't low-balled erstwhile ace Jon Lester in 2015 or taken a pass last winter on Edwin Encarnacion as a $60 million middle-of-the-order successor to David Ortiz. Do not worry about positional qualifications in the early rounds of drafts.
In landing the former Arizona Diamondbacks player, the Red Sox add an important piece to the puzzle of three-peating as AL East Division Champions. There is nothing wrong with depth, but do not presume either will surpass 500 at-bats, as each did in 2017. The outfield will consist of Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts from left to right. In addition to his production at the plate, Dyson was successful on 28 of his of his 35 stolen base attempts.