Martinez apparently wants a better offer than that, however.
According to Nightengale, "The Red Sox won't give Martinez a seven-year, $210 million contract and aren't about to start bidding against themselves."
Jon Morosi of MLB.com noted that the Red Sox are the favorites to land Martinez but reported there was a "staring contest" between the slugger's agent, Scott Boras, and Boston's front office:
MLB Network @MLBNetwork
.@jonmorosi breaks down the market for Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, J.D. Martinez and more on #MLBNHotStove. https://t.co/yzDSRJ8yO02018-1-2 16:52:06
That staring contest almost assuredly comes down to the length of the contract offer. There's little question, however, that Martinez remains arguably the top hitter on the market.
The 30-year-old had a huge 2017, hitting .303 with 45 homers and 104 RBI. He also scored 85 runs in just 119 games between the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks. He thrived after being traded to Arizona on July 18, blasting 29 dingers and 65 RBI in just 62 contests, helping propel to the team to its first postseason appearance since 2011.
He's blasted 128 homers over the past four seasons, and only Mike Trout (1.071) had a higher OPS than Martinez (1.066) among players with 400 or more at-bats in 2017. Suffice to say, Martinez has established himself as an elite slugger in recent years.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, finished 27th in baseball in homers (168) last season. Martinez is a logical upgrade in the outfield, enough so that B/R's Zachary Rymer believes the club should bend to his contract desires:
Zachary D. Rymer @zachrymer
IMO, the Red Sox should keep it simple and give J.D. Martinez what he wants.2017-12-29 23:48:55
The matter might be somewhat complicated by next winter's potentially historic free-agent class that likely will include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Clayton Kershaw and Josh Donaldson, among others. Maintaining financial flexibility for next winter will give the Red Sox the opportunity to splash major cash on an elite free agent.
On the other hand, the team is built to win now. Martinez would be the type of upgrade who could push the Red Sox over the hump in their pursuit of a title.