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Red Sox Notes: A J.D. Martinez update and interest in Tony Watson

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Spring training literally starts tomorrow but we still have free agent rumors.

Arizona Diamondbacks NLDS Travel Day Photo by Sarah Sachs/Arizona Diamondbacks/Getty Images

J.D. Martinez offer closer to $100 million than $125 million

This has been something of a hellish winter around baseball (and in terms of cold up here in the Northeast), and for Red Sox fans that hellscape has involved following the constantly changing reports regarding J.D. Martinez and Boston’s pursuit of the slugger. A few weeks ago we had heard that Boston offered him a five-year deal worth about $125 million, which seemed low but probably not insultingly so. There have been whispers that this wasn’t entirely accurate, and now we have a confirmation of sorts from Alex Speier. Today, the Globe beat writer reported that the deal is in the vicinity of $100 million. Speier didn’t explicitly say that it was a five-year deal, but that’s likely a fair assumption at this point given the number of reports that have indicated this as the length the Red Sox are offering. Speier also indicates that the Red Sox are staying steady with that offer and are determined to not bid against themselves. This is a fair strategy and hard to criticize, but it’s also a risky one as it leaves them open to another team swooping in at the last second to sign Martinez away from them.

Speaking of which, the Diamondbacks continue to push more towards bringing Martinez back to Arizona. According to Jon Heyman of Fanrag Sports, the Diamondbacks are looking at “creative” ways to get the slugger back. There’s no report of what exactly that means, but Heyman speculates that it could include a shorter deal with a higher AAV and/or one that includes opt-outs. On the one hand, it seems as if Arizona is legitimate competition for Martinez even without the same big-market tendencies as Boston. They are in a clear win-now window, they have a spot in the field to offer Martinez and he reportedly prefers to play outfield to DH, and he has already had success there and apparently liked his time with the team. On the other hand, this could very well be coming from the Boras camp and overstating the interest of the Diamondbacks to get the Rd Sox to up their offer. Who knows. I just want this to be over soon.

World Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Houston Astros - Game Three Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Tony Watson in serious negotiations with the Giants. Red Sox also interested

Tony Watson has been a speculative target for the Red Sox since the start of the offseason, but we haven’t really heard any substantial rumors regarding their interest. That changed on Tuesday as Jon Heyman reported that Boston is showing interest in the left-handed reliever. They don’t appear to be the favorite at this point, as Bob Nightengale describes conversations between Watson and the Giants as “serious.” The Red Sox are a bit light from the left side in the bullpen with Robby Scott as the only established left-handed reliever on the roster. Brian Johnson, Roenis Elias, Jalen Beeks, Williams Jerez and Bobby Poyner represent the rest of the depth chart. They probably could get by with that group, particularly with a rotation loaded with left-handed pitching, but Watson would certainly help. The former Pirate and Dodger is a contact-oriented pitcher and there is always less room for error with that profile, so it’s not a potential move without risk. That being said, he’s been outstanding for essentially his entire career outside of the first half of last season. It’s good to see the Red Sox are involved here, at least.