J.D. Martinez decides not to opt-out of deal with Red Sox

By WEEI 93.7

J.D. Martinez has decided to stick around at least one more year.

According to multiple reports the 32-year-old is choosing to not use his opportunity to opt-out of a current deal with the Red Sox that is guaranteed to pay him $62.5 million over the next three seasons. Martinez will make $23.75 million in 2020. He does have another opportunity to opt-out following next season as well, with his number dropping to $19.375 million in 2021 and ’22.

Martinez’s continued presence in the Sox’ batting order obviously helps Alex Cora’s team’s chances for the coming season.

During his two seasons with the Red Sox he managed to fill the middle-of-the-order void left behind by David Ortiz after the slugger’s retirement following the 2016 season. During that span he totaled the fourth-best OPS (.985) in baseball, only behind Mike Trout, Christian Yelich and Mookie Betts.

Martinez also managed more total bases than anyone in MLB while playing for Boston, also finishing the two-year stint with a combined .317 batting average and 79 homers (the 4th-most of any big leaguer).

The Red Sox went 56-18 in games Martinez hit at least one home run, 109-32 when he managed one RBI or more and 151-79 on occasions he came away with at least one hit.

Along with his presence in the clubhouse and the batting cages Martinez was just what the doctor ordered.

It does, however, make a tricky payroll situation even more difficult.

With the team’s desired goal to drop below the $208 million luxury tax threshold, Martinez’s money puts the Red Sox in a bind when it comes to allocating resources to a Mookie Betts contract extension and other pieces of the roster-building process.

Payroll now sits at ~$227.23MM heading into a winter in which the leadership of the team has publically announced they want to get under the $208MM luxury tax line.Projected $$ of a few notable Sox:Mookie - $27.7MM (arb estimate)JBJ - $11MM (arb estimate)Pedroia - $13.75MM

— Red Sox Payroll (@redsoxpayroll) November 4, 2019