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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Latest On Red Sox, J.D. Martinez - MLB Trade Rumors

Yeah, right.

The staredown between J.D. Martinez and the Red Sox doesn’t appear to be all that close to ending. Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston spoke to agent Scott Boras Tuesday evening, with Boras making clear that his client is willing to wait until after the start of Spring Training to sign a contract. Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (subscription required) that Martinez has become “fed up” with the lack of flexibility on Boston’s part and may actually prefer to sign with another club at this point.

“The dialogue is ongoing, we have not reached any kind of agreement,” Boras tells Drellich, noting that Martinez doesn’t necessarily need a full Spring Training to work himself into game shape. “Particularly for position players, these guys are in great shape, they’re ready to go.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2018 at 09:28 AM | 49 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agents, j.d. martinez

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   1. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 09:38 AM (#5620990)
Not sure why the Red Sox should be bidding against themselves if nobody else has made any other offers to Martinez, but much luck with that, I guess.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 09:45 AM (#5620998)
Not sure why the Red Sox should be bidding against themselves if nobody else has made any other offers to Martinez,

They shouldn't be. But, if they can restructure their offer to give him more years and total dollars at a similar NPV, and that will let him save face and get him signed, they should do that.

This situation cries out for a 6/160 deal with major deferrals.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: February 07, 2018 at 09:55 AM (#5621005)
I'm guessing the "flexibility" he supposedly wants from the Red Sox means a substantial increase of the offer, not just a face-saving re-structuring.
   4. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: February 07, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5621031)
This situation cries out for a 6/160 deal with major deferrals.
For a guy with 2 seasons with enough PA to qualify for the batting title. And 3 seasons of > 2 bWAR.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5621037)
For a guy with 2 seasons with enough PA to qualify for the batting title. And 3 seasons of > 2 bWAR.

What a misleading statement. Those 3 seasons >2 bWAR were all over 4 bWAR.

The Red Sox are already willing to pay the NPV of 5/125. If they can get a 6th year for not much more NPV, and land the player they want, they'd be silly not to.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 07, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5621042)
Reality has a way of being inflexible, JD.
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5621043)
If they can get a 6th year for not much more NPV, and land the player they want, they'd be silly not to.


Whereas I think it's silly to go to a sixth year on a 30-year-old with back problems who doesn't have any other offers.
   8. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: February 07, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5621064)
Whereas I think it's silly to go to a sixth year on a 30-year-old with back problems who doesn't have any other offers.
And is limited to DH.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5621066)
Whereas I think it's silly to go to a sixth year on a 30-year-old with back problems who doesn't have any other offers.

The year costs nothing. The extra year is a benefit to the Red Sox. He might have value in that year.

I'm not talking about adding an extra year, and increasing the NPV 20%. I'm talking about adding an extra year and increasing the NPV 5%.

A 5/125 contract has an NPV of $102.5M at 7%. If instead the Red Sox offered 6/156 with $10M a year deferred until years 7-12, the NPV would be $108M.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5621068)
And is limited to DH.

Not true. Zips projects him as a -6 OF. That plays fine with his bat. I'm also reasonably confident he can learn 1B, which is a glaring hole for the Red Sox.
   11. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5621072)
What a misleading statement. Those 3 seasons >2 bWAR were all over 4 bWAR.
Let's do some math:

Over the past 4 seasons, Martinez has averaged 3.8 bWAR/season through the prime of his career; that would make his value for this coming season $30M/yr. But because of his age, he's not likely to continue to be a 4 WAR/yr player.

6/$180 is the Homer Bailey contract (paying for best-case scenario to an injury-prone player), but for a guy who's 2 years older.
   12. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5621076)
Zips projects him as a -6 OF. That plays fine with his bat. I'm also reasonably confident he can learn 1B, which is a glaring hole for the Red Sox.
He isn't playing OF for the Sox unless there's a disaster.

And if you're pulling out ZiPS, it projects him as a 3.3 WAR player this season.
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5621077)
The extra year is a benefit to the Red Sox. He might have value in that year.


If the Red Sox saw that year as a benefit, they probably would've offered it to him in the first place.

with $10M a year deferred until years 7-12


Even if the actual cost may be fairly close, I don't think your assumption that the Red Sox should axiomatically be OK with deferring large amounts of money is necessarily warranted.

Not true. Zips projects him as a -6 OF.


He's limited to DH at least in part because he's fragile and tends to get hurt when he's playing in the field.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:08 AM (#5621079)

6/$180 is the Homer Bailey contract (paying for best-case scenario to an injury-prone player), but for a guy who's 2 years older.


My proposal is a 6 year deal structure to have the NPV of a 5/125 deal. 6/180 straight would be much, much more.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:08 AM (#5621080)
If he signs with the Sox, he will get some starts in the OF, even if B-B-B are generally healthy.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5621082)

If the Red Sox saw that year as a benefit, they probably would've offered it to him in the first place.


They don't see it as a benefit if they have to pay him the NPV of a full $25M in that 6th year. They would certainly rather give him 6/125 than 5/125.

Even if the actual cost may be fairly close, I don't think your assumption that the Red Sox should axiomatically be OK with deferring large amounts of money is necessarily warranted.

Your assumption is the Red Sox are run by idiots? If you can defer payments at an implied interest rate lower than your cost of capital, you always do it.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5621084)

If the Red Sox saw that year as a benefit, they probably would've offered it to him in the first place.
Depends how much it costs. But by itself, the year is definitely a benefit; it's an optional year of control.
   18. villageidiom Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:13 AM (#5621087)
Martinez doesn't simply want to go to the highest bidder. He wants to go to the highest bidder for an even higher bid than the highest bidder.

Boston is probably paying an additional $35-40 million to their (15) arb-eligible players next year. They will quickly get to a point where keeping their current roster together will cost a ton, even before signing Martinez. This is the last year they will realistically have this roster together and also stay under the tax threshold. Signing JDM to his preferred contract will likely blow the latter, if not the former.
   19. DaVoice of DaPeople Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5621100)
I know in the NHL there was a trend where teams started giving players like 17-year contracts, or some silly number like that....not because they expected the player to still be around into his late 40s, of course, but just as an accounting scheme, reducing the average annual value of the deal.

Anyway....what’s to stop MLB teams from doing the same? Don’t they get a big incentive under the luxury tax rules to do just that? If the Angels offered Pujols a 47-year extension all of a sudden that contract doesn’t look so bad!
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:23 AM (#5621103)
Don’t they get a big incentive under the luxury tax rules to do just that?
No. That potential loophole is blocked.
   21. Carl Goetz Posted: February 07, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5621193)
If the Sox want to add power, just sign LoMo to short deal. 1B is their biggest hole anyway. And early projections had him getting 3/$36 which may be optimistic at this point.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5621205)
If the Sox want to add power, just sign LoMo to short deal. 1B is their biggest hole anyway. And early projections had him getting 3/$36 which may be optimistic at this point.

Unfotunately (for Sox fans) the team seems to have an unhealthy attraction to Mitch Moreland.
   23. Stevey Posted: February 07, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5621227)
Your assumption is the Red Sox are run by idiots?


Considering the person who is almost certainly their highest paid analytics advisor is completely unaware of what is in the CBA and how much salaries have changed over time, and doesn't have a great grasp of how supply and demand works, and thinks the MLBPA bargained "brilliantly" ... maybe they are?
   24. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 07, 2018 at 01:38 PM (#5621232)
Not sure this matters a lot as it relates to pressure Boston feels to get a deal done, but:

As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I'm not sure I've seen this much apathy about the Red Sox upcoming season in at least 20 years. Some of it is the residue of winning three titles. Some of it is the result of the devaluing of "making the playoffs", compared to a generation ago.

A big part of it, IMO, is the historic success of the Patriots. They have been so good, for so long, and have been so interesting in the way they do it, that it is raising the bar for other Boston teams. The Celtics are very, very good - but they are also really interesting in the way they operate. Tons of trades, a brilliant young coach, very young and dynamic, etc. - they are fascinating to follow. Even the Bruins have been outstanding for the last few months - probably the best team in hockey for an extended period.

All of this is to say, I am hearing *zero* interest in whether or not JD Martinez signs with the Red Sox or not. Zero on sports talk radio about the upcoming season, or Chris Sale, or Mookie Betts, or David Price.

To the extent that the lack of public uproar about signing/not signing a player has any impact on how decisions are made, or how quickly they get made, it is clearly not adding intensity to the process.
   25. BDC Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5621242)
Don’t they get a big incentive under the luxury tax rules to do just that?

No. That potential loophole is blocked


But then at least Bobby Bonilla's salary doesn't count toward the Mets' luxury tax :)
   26. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5621243)
Whereas I think it's silly to go to a sixth year on a 30-year-old with back problems who doesn't have any other offers.

The Red Sox are a bit short of options, too. There are incentives for both sides to get a deal done
   27. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5621250)
A big part of it, IMO, is the historic success of the Patriots. They have been so good, for so long, and have been so interesting in the way they do it, that it is raising the bar for other Boston teams. The Celtics are very, very good - but they are also really interesting in the way they operate. Tons of trades, a brilliant young coach, very young and dynamic, etc. - they are fascinating to follow. Even the Bruins have been outstanding for the last few months - probably the best team in hockey for an extended period.


I don't listen to sports radio or pay much attention to what anyone who isn't Alex Speier writes so this probably isn't worth much. I think the issue of the other three teams being SO good is the big one. There just isn't a lot of space/airtime to devote to a team in the midst of its off-season. Add in some complacency not just from the titles but the back to back division titles and the lack of activity this winter and there just isn't much to say.

Frankly I like that they are being reserved. Bringing back the 93 win team that had a bunch of guys underachieve is a smart move but not a very sexy one. Trading Jackie Bradley would get some attention on WEEI but would almost certainly not make the team better.
   28. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5621251)
Your assumption is the Red Sox are run by idiots? If you can defer payments at an implied interest rate lower than your cost of capital, you always do it.


Not always, no. It depends on your degree of confidence in the estimates and assumptions you're using to calculate the NPV, and on your possible alternative uses for the money.
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:13 PM (#5621254)
They don't see it as a benefit if they have to pay him the NPV of a full $25M in that 6th year. They would certainly rather give him 6/125 than 5/125.


Sure, but you can't have it both ways. If he's basically playing for free in that last year, that represents an opportunity cost much greater than the value of saving his pride by taking a FA offer with a higher dollar value on paper. Particularly when he can accomplish the latter by just firing his agent and throwing the guy under the bus.
   30. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:14 PM (#5621258)
The other thing is that JDM, as good as he is, is a relative unknown. If you aren't a baseball junkie you probably aren't that familiar with him. He didn't have the World Series pedigree that Sandoval had or play in the same division like Crawford or come up through the system like Hanley did. I'd be willing to bet the casual fan, the guy who drives the sports radio/end of the bar chatter, is more familiar with Todd Frazier (he played for the Yankees!) than JD Martinez.
   31. karlmagnus Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:30 PM (#5621270)
If they don't get JDM they should just call up Rusney Castillo, and fit him in as 4th OF/DH. There must be a decent chance that he'll produce as much as JDM, he's a sunk cost (because they will be below the luxury tax threshold) and he provides both HR and insurance.
   32. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5621273)
A 5/125 contract has an NPV of $102.5M at 7%. If instead the Red Sox offered 6/156 with $10M a year deferred until years 7-12, the NPV would be $108M.
How do you know the Sox haven't offered such a contract? How do you know Martinez would accept such a contract - and more importantly, why would he agree to an extra year of control for just $5M in present value?
   33. jmurph Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:35 PM (#5621277)
There must be a decent chance that he'll produce as much as JDM

There has to be almost zero chance of this happening.
   34. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:51 PM (#5621293)
I think it's insane to think Castillo would approach JDM's performance but I'd love the Sox to call him up and give it a whirl. You're spending the money and I think he can offer at least as much as Bryce Brentz.
   35. Darren Posted: February 07, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5621304)
Perhaps JDM's complaint of a lack of flexibility is about opt outs. Perhaps he feels for coming down off 6-7 years, he should get a really nice option or a couple of them.

As for deferrals, I remember reading something about how Scherzer completely understood that the deferred money was worse less than non-deferred, but there were tax reasons that it could work better for him. It seemed almost like a win-win.
   36. Darren Posted: February 07, 2018 at 03:23 PM (#5621322)
The Sox could certainly use a player like JDM. But people's views of him really get clouded by the gaudy HR numbers last year. Even with the insane 45 HR, he was only worth 3.8 WAR. His projections are 2.5 WAR for Steamer and 3.3 WAR for ZIPS. Brandon Belt is 3.1 and 3.3 respectively. He's also 30. Would anyone be offering him 5/$125MM if he were a free agent?

   37. villageidiom Posted: February 07, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5621326)
WEEI reports that Cleveland and Boston have talked about an Encarnacion trade. Indians want (something and) JBJ; Boston said no.
   38. Stevey Posted: February 07, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5621332)
Would anyone be offering him 5/$125MM if he were a free agent?


Before this offseason? I would bet teams would be lining up to do so.
   39. Darren Posted: February 07, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5621333)
Some others.
Name, age, Steam Proj, ZIPS proj, contract
Cain, 32, 2.8, 3.1, 5 years/$80MM
Moustakas, 29, 2.6, 2.5, 5/$85MM (MLBTR projection)
Frazier, 32, 2.1, 3.5, 2/$17MM
Santana, 32, 2.6, ??, 3/$60MM

Maybe the Sox should go after Moustakas instead. Can he be had cheaply in a market that just gave Frazier 2/$17MM?

   40. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 07, 2018 at 04:50 PM (#5621410)
Maybe the Sox should go after Moustakas instead


Well that's what I was thinking before they wasted money on Moreland. Surely Moustakas can play 1B reasonably well so they would've knocked over 2 needs at once.
   41. formerly dp Posted: February 07, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5621423)
Cespedes got 4/$110, and can play some outfield (though also has fragility problems), plus was contract hunting way earlier in the offseason, with more potential suitors. I get Martinez holding out, but I also get Boston waiting to see if he blinks. None of these guys can want the calendar to turn to March without a some ink on a contract.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: February 07, 2018 at 07:08 PM (#5621534)
Yep ... do the Red Sox want to improve their current roster by 3-4 wins by spending (say) an extra $15 M over 5 years or does JDM decide that 5/$125 is still good money and a better option than standing by his pride. Both sides are acting a bit irrationally and it's a matter of who blinks first. Unless there's a "mystery team", JDM should probably blink. And maybe the union will be able to push a collusion case and get him a few million more in the settlement.
   43. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: February 07, 2018 at 07:19 PM (#5621542)
And maybe the union will be able to push a collusion case and get him a few million more in the settlement.

Highly unlikely.
   44. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 07, 2018 at 07:27 PM (#5621545)
What makes anyone think if JDM is so adamantly opposed to 5/125 he would accept 6/140? I suspect if he had said he would accept 6/140 that the Sox would have gotten pen to paper then and there. If he really would accept that offer and the Sox haven’t done it then yeah, that’s a penny wise and a pound foolish but I’m skeptical.
   45. GGC Posted: February 08, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5621785)
A big part of it, IMO, is the historic success of the Patriots. They have been so good, for so long, and have been so interesting in the way they do it, that it is raising the bar for other Boston teams. The Celtics are very, very good - but they are also really interesting in the way they operate. Tons of trades, a brilliant young coach, very young and dynamic, etc. - they are fascinating to follow. Even the Bruins have been outstanding for the last few months - probably the best team in hockey for an extended period.


I work in Riverside, RI, just east of Providence. Out of the Big Four sports teams, it seems that the Pats are the most popular here. My brotherr says that up in NH near UNH, it's the Red Sox. That also seemed to be the case in central Connecticut, but I haven't spent much time there in a few years/
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: February 08, 2018 at 11:48 AM (#5621810)
As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I'm not sure I've seen this much apathy about the Red Sox upcoming season in at least 20 years. Some of it is the residue of winning three titles. Some of it is the result of the devaluing of "making the playoffs", compared to a generation ago.
It seems like they might have some troubles selling tickets this year, due to that apathy you mention and high prices. More than usual, I've gotten e-mails from the Sox about ticket specials this offseason.
   47. shoewizard Posted: February 08, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5621881)
Jon Heyman's willingness to continue to be an unabashed Scott Boras mouth piece is expected I guess. Why stop now, right ?

Heyman's latest

Although the Boston Red Sox have been seen as the main competitor to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the J.D. Martinez derby, for now the bigger threat could be a holdout (or at least a decision by Martinez to remain unsigned).

With two teams believed to be at very similar levels – word is, both have signaled a willingness to go to five years at more than $100 million (how much more isn’t known), and agent Scott Boras says an earlier report of Arizona only offering a one-year deal is “not accurate”
   48. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: February 09, 2018 at 12:43 AM (#5622381)
both have signaled a willingness to go to five years at more than $100 million (how much more isn’t known)

That doesn't even make sense. Would JDM say 'no I demand less than 100 mil!'?
   49. Nasty Nate Posted: February 09, 2018 at 08:58 AM (#5622424)
It means both the DBacks and the Sox.

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