Diamondbacks News

Diamondbacks Free Agent J.D. Back in AZ? We’ll See…

By Josh Burke
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: J.D. Martinez
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: J.D. Martinez /
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Free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez is reportedly not having the best time this winter. Most recently employed by the Diamondbacks, he’s out of work and discouraged by prospective job opportunities. Could he be looking at an Arizona reunion?

I know it’s wrong to take pleasure in other people’s misfortune. Though when I read that Diamondbacks free agent J.D. Martinez was complaining to his South Beach supermodel neighbors about how poorly the negotiations with Boston were going, I had to smile. Murmurs that the relationship had soured started to trickle out this morning and, sure enough, immediately began to piqué the interest of D-Backs faithful.

Could a reunion between AZ and J.D. actually happen? Suddenly there were positive messages being transmitted from everywhere, it seemed. All you had to do was tune in. Diamondbacks Assistant GM Jared Porter left the door open with a classic, “Ah…We’ll see”, just like my dad used to say before never considering something again. What we can take away is that there’s a chance – albeit a sliver of hope – that the door is ajar for Martinez.

At least that’s what Ken Rosenthal leads us to believe while appearing on MLB Network, dishing the dirt. Martinez reportedly has mentioned that he is considering other options right now. In fact, he “would prefer to go to another team” at this point.

It has been an awful off-season for free agents, specifically the top-tier in terms of perceived salary demands. Teams seem to be saving their payroll dollars for next year’s free agent class. As a result, players and their agents might be avoiding entering free agency next winter because of the competition.

However, it would not be a bad idea for J.D. Martinez to enter free agency again next year. There will be a bunch of teams who have room in their budget for a major free agent. The teams that miss out on Bryce Harper or Manny Machado – or whoever – will still have that money allocated to add a big free agent.

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Martinez and his agent Scott “Teddy Bear” Boras were asking for over $200 million when the off-season started. He has accumulated earnings of only somewhere around $22 million in his career to date. After making just $11.75 million last year while belting 45 homers combined between Arizona and Detroit, J.D. and his agent were seeking a salary of around $30 million in average annual value. If Martinez were willing, I wonder if Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick might go up to $30 million on a one year deal. I mean, “Why wouldn’t he?” to quote Boras, “He’s…a good owner in that way”.

So, it might make good sense for Martinez to sign a one year pillow contract to cushion the blow if he’s not getting a fat multi-year deal this off-season like he had expected. That way he can jump back into free agency next year when MLB owners will be making it rain. Money. On the players.

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J.D. Martinez has reportedly been feeling frustrated, “fed up”, and unhappy this winter. Well, fret no further my friend, we’ve got just the thing to cheer you right up: Zack Grein- [scratch that]. How about if you just come back to a team where you felt comfortable enough to blast 29 home runs in 62 games? You’ll get paid like three times more than you did last year and you might get another chance at $200 million next year.

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