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Offseason Choose Your Own Adventure - The Negotiation of J.D. Martinez

With the first of many decisions in place, the negotiations in earnest can begin.

Miami Marlins v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Here’s the story stream.

And here you are.

All players, managers, and other personalities are in a fictional situation. These are not the real players speaking. Pretty standard, ain’t it?

Anyway, I feel the need to explain something, regarding the last vote. If you go back, and you look, the final tally ended up being the winning choice at 186 votes, and the second choice at 185 votes. One vote basically decided the primary action, so the votes do matter. I’ll be trying to incorporate the second place choice where possible, since it was so close.

Anyway, it is what it is.

Divisional Round - Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox - Game Four
Hanley back to first base?
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Henry - “We’re presently thinking of putting you at the DH spot. This allows us the best defensive outfield in baseball while adding to our offense. The current DH, Hanley Ramirez, would move over to first base.”

Martinez - “I can’t say I’m too enthused with that. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but I like playing in the outfield, and not being able to will hurt my value in free agency once this contract runs out.”

Henry - “We’ve also considering moving an outfielder, which would enable you to play the outfield. It’s not our current course of action, but we’re doing due diligence around the league.”

Martinez - “That’s all well and good, but until such a trade happens, I’m not going to be penciled in, in your outfield, and that’s a minor concern of mine.”

Cora - “If I may chime in, Julio, I do believe you’d find yourself playing the field, even if a trade doesn’t come, from time to time. We currently have four outfielders on the roster, between Mookie, Jackie, Andrew, and Bryce Brentz. And with Pedroia on the DL, we might need to move Mookie over to second, either temporarily or permanently. It’s not a discussion we’ve had with him yet, since we’re not sure it’s what’s best for the club, but it’s something that I think should factor into your thought process. We definitely have room.”

Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Yeah, Bryce Brentz is back!
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Martinez - “I understand your position, Mr. Cora, and if I come to Boston, I have the utmost faith you’ll do right by me with day-to-day affairs, but when it comes to my next contract, I have to look out for my family.”

Henry - “Alright, well, as you are aware, I faxed over a contract to your agent, and he should be here any minute to discuss with us the terms of it. It’s by no means final, but I’d like to get a general feeling for what you are looking for in your next contract.”

Martinez - “If I’m going to be a full time DH, then I’m probably going to want a 6 year deal. I’m not really interested in going one or two years, and re-entering free agency again. But I also need to make sure I’m taken care of. If I’m going to be a DH, and my pay-rate is going to drop as a result of that, I’m going to need to squeeze every last high value year I can.”

The doorbell rings. It’s the agent. And it’s not the agent you were hoping to see, either. Scott Boras enters. It’s hardball time.

Milwaukee Brewers v Houston Astros
Enter: Scott Boras
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Boras - “Evening gentlemen. How are you, J.D.?”

Martinez - “I’m doing great, Scott. I’m glad you are here.”

Boras - “Misters Henry and Cora, from my understanding, you want to sign J.D., and make him a designated hitter, despite improvements defensively and the understanding that limiting him to DH will hamper his value going forward.”

Henry - “In fairness here, we have three excellent defensive outfielders, all three of which ranked in the top 30 of outfielders in UZR/150, one of which was the best defensive outfielder in all of baseball.”

Boras - “Calling Andrew Benintendi excellent defensively may be overselling him, you understand. He’s very good, yes, but he didn’t exactly wow. It also doesn’t help he plays in the smallest left field in the majors for half of his season.”

Henry - “With all respect to J.D., who we consider one of the best bats in all of baseball, his defense ranked last by that same metric among qualified outfielders. We love J.D. Martinez, and we’re willing to pay a lot to have the honor of having him in the heart of our order, but it doesn’t make sense for us, of all teams, to put him in the outfield.”

Boras - “OK, but do understand that we’re likely to make the 6th year a guarantee if you are going to place him at DH that long. After all, playing as a DH, there’s a much lower risk assessment, so you have no reason not to accept, unless you believe his bat will decline. You don’t believe that, do you, Mr. Henry?”

Divisional Round - Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox - Game Four
Pictured - Andrew Benintendi being amazing.
Not pictured - Andrew Benintendi being amazing defensively.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

J.D. Martinez looks on eagerly, as he smiles at Alexander Henry.

Henry - “Why no, we believe J.D. Martinez’s bat will likely continue to be valuable even after his current contract ends, which is why we believe his value will still be high, after his contract ends with us.”

Boras - “Here are our terms, Mr. Henry. Your contract wasn’t bad, but I felt it was a year too short, and it also was a couple million shy of our expectations. I want the best for my client, and you want the best for your team, so I believe this contract offer to be fair.”

Scott Boras slides a sheet of paper to Alexander Henry, upside down, so only Henry himself can take a look. Upon flipping it enough to reveal the contract information, Henry took a breath and sighed. This contract was theoretically acceptable, but it would hurt his ability to bring in other players he had been considering, and the length would also hurt the flexibility of the franchise in the near future.

At the same time, it couldn’t be ignored, J.D. Martinez was the best bat available on the open market, and the value of the contract was still better than the value of the Giancarlo Stanton contract.

The contract offer was for six years, and for 165 million dollars. At 27.5 million dollars a year, the Red Sox would find themselves likely unable to do many gymnastics without a significant deal later in the offseason.

Boras - “Well, Mr. Henry? What do you say? Do we have a deal? I’d love to get J.D. into Boston.”


How do you respond to Scott Boras?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Agree to 6/165
    (50 votes)
  • 33%
    Counter with 6/150
    (231 votes)
  • 25%
    Counter with 5/140
    (178 votes)
  • 34%
    Play hardball, and tell Boras you will be in touch.
    (241 votes)
700 votes total Vote Now

Poll ends November 9th, at 11:00 PM EST.