Outfielder J.D. Martinez reportedly has his eye on a serious chunk of change in free agency.
On Tuesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Martinez is asking for a seven-year, $210 million contract at the general manager meetings. Martinez played for the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks during the 2017 campaign and finished with a slash line of .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI.
There is plenty to justify Martinez's asking price, not the least of which is the fact he is coming off such an impressive season. While the 45 long balls marked a career high, it was the fourth straight year he topped 20 homers. He hit 38 while slashing .282/.344/.535 on his way to a Silver Slugger in 2015.
He is also only 30 years old and figures to continue producing at a high level for a number of seasons in the middle of his prime.
It is fair to worry about Martinez's defense, especially if teams are going to commit so much money to him this offseason. While he was still lackluster in 2017, he made significant strides from the prior year and tallied minus-five total defensive runs saved above average after posting a minus-22 in 2016, per FanGraphs.
Martinez also has an agent working in his favor who isn't afraid to make head-turning comparisons on behalf of his client, as Jon Morosi of MLB Network shared:
Jon Morosi @jonmorosi
Scott Boras told me if J.D. Martinez’s free agency were a major motion picture, it would be called “King Kong of Slug.” His explanation: Martinez’s .690 slugging percentage was more than 50 points higher than anyone else in @MLB this year.2017-11-10 17:22:57
The question now is whether a team will acquiesce to Martinez's asking price, but whichever one does sign him will land one of the best offensive players in the league.