Boston: Did the Red Sox Make a Grave Mistake in Letting Victor Martinez Walk?

Patrick LanguzziContributor IIINovember 23, 2010

BOSTON - OCTOBER 11:  Cacther Victor Martinez #41 of the Boston Red Sox sits in the dugout after losing to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 7-6 in Game Three of the ALDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Fenway Park on October 11, 2009 in Boston,  Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Outrageous! I guess it's another bridge year for John Henry and the Boston Red Sox

Victor Martinez, the 31 year old switch hitting catcher who can play three positions: catcher, first base and designated hitter, was signed today by the Detroit Tigers for four years and $50 million.

Martinez, who was a great fit for the Red Sox, was originally offered two years and $21 million by Boston. 

A mere insult in my opinion to a player with some value to the Red Sox. Martinez who is a four-time All Star, finished the 2010 season with a .302 average, 20 home runs and 79 RBI in 127 games.

Plain and simple, this guy can hit good pitching, something, that at the present time without a Manny Ramirez in the middle of their lineup can't all but afford to lose.  

Why weren't the Red Sox originally willing to offer Martinez a four-year deal? With the news spreading that the Tigers were close to a four-year, $50 million contract, Boston offered arbitration and will get two draft picks from his departure. Wow, great deal!

Rumors were reported that the Red Sox were only willing to offer Martinez a four-year $42 million contract. So, should the Red Sox have offered the $8 million more in order to try and keep Martinez in a Red Sox uniform?

The Red Sox didn't just do this on a whim, they know their players better than anybody else. So, the question then remains: why would the Red Sox allow one of their most productive run producing switch- hitting catchers to leave?  

Then replace him with a guy that has a long name and a lot of injuries named Jarrod Saltalamacchia. 

I think it's funny that the Red Sox picked up Ortiz's option at $12 million to play as a designated hitter, mostly against right handed pitching, then let a switching hitting catcher that can also play first base and DH go.

Martinez is 31 years old, when he plays out this contract he'll finish at 36. So consider this, Jorge Posada was 36 when the Yankees signed him to a four-year, $52.4 million deal in 2007.

Posada was older when he got the deal and didn't become a full-time catcher until he was 28. Martinez has been an everyday catcher since he was 25.

Theo Epstein now has 127 days or a little over four months to put together his roster for the 2011 season. It's a little more than a hunch, but I bet they plan to improve the team this off-season.

It's only November, so let's see what kind of product the Red Sox put on the field on opening day before declaring next year over already.