A potential familiar answer for the Arizona Diamondbacks at designated hitter

J.D. Martinez is a familiar face who could be a major boost to the Diamondbacks' current line-up.

National League Wild Card Game - Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks
National League Wild Card Game - Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Arizona Diamondbacks have a hole in their line-up right now. They do not have a solid answer at designated hitter. This could be an opportunity to add a big bat to the line-up and give their offense a major boost. Among the potential free agents, they could look into a familiar face in J.D. Martinez.

Martinez was a Diamondback for a very short amount of time in 2017, however, he made a massive impact in his brief stint. Acquired from the Detroit Tigers at the trade deadline, Martinez batted .302/.366/.741 with 29 home runs in only 257 plate appearances. You read that correctly: nearly 30 homers in just about 250 trips to the plate. Had Martinez kept that pace up the entire season and came to the plate 650 times, he would have broken Barry Bonds' single-season record. His 172 wRC+ was over the top outstanding.

Martinez then signed a five-season deal with the Boston Red Sox. After fading in his last few seasons, the designated hitter latched on with the LA Dodgers on a one-year deal for the 2023 campaign. Martinez had his best year since 2019, batting .271/.321/.572 with 33 home runs. His .369 wOBA, 135 wRC+, and home run total were the best he has put up since the aforementioned '19 campaign.

The slugger posted a walk rate of only 7.1%, the worst rate since his 2014. He also saw his K% up to 31.1%, the first time he's struck out in over 30% of his plate appearances. But his .301 isolated slugging percentage was the best he's had since that 2017 campaign and the 4th highest in baseball (min. 400 plate appearances).

Martinez's approach at the plate changed, going for power and launch angle over contact, as demonstrated by his strikeout rate and walk rate going down, but his power output increasing. He was in the top 98th percentile of barrel rate, exit velocity, and hard-hit rate. He had career highs in exit velo and hard-hit rate, and put up the second-best barrel rate of his career. His 16.9-degree launch angle was also tied for the highest he's had in one year.

Martinez was only limited to 432 plate appearances, the fewest trips to the dish he has had in a 162-game season since 2017. But the production with the bat is still there and will be a major boost to any line-up. As of right now, MLB Trade Rumors predicts that Martinez will sign a two-year deal valued at $40 million, giving him an AAV of $20 million. If that's what Martinez signs for, and the Diamondbacks were to acquire him, he would be the highest-paid Diamondback as of right now.

MLB Trade Rumors seemed pretty generous in some of their free agent predictions in terms of the amount of money each player would sign for. While that's not to say that Martinez isn't going to sign for a large sum, I don't think he will sign for a higher AAV than he did when he signed with the Red Sox. 2024 will be his age-36 season, and he is a DH-only at this point in his career. While two years sounds about right, I'm predicting closer to $16-$18 million a season.

I think that Martinez would be a great fit for the Diamondbacks' line-up. That gives you four guys who could approach 30 home runs, at the very least. Keep in mind the Diamondbacks had a negative run differential. Sure, some of that is because they had four starting pitchers with an ERA of 4.15 or higher in 15+ starts, but they only ranked seventh in runs scored, and now they're losing Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who went yard 24 times last season. Adding Martinez gives the Diamondbacks' offense a major push.