Yankees should go after free agent slugger J.D. Martinez

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 24: J.D. Martinez /

Teams will push hard to sign power-hitting outfielder J.D. Martinez. Will the Yankees be one of them?

J.D. Martinez is the most sought-after free agent bat this offseason and it’s not even close. Martinez played for the Tigers and Diamondbacks last season and finished with a .303 batting average, a .376 on-base percentage and a .690 slugging percentage with 45 home runs and 104 RBI. Those numbers would be a welcome addition to a Yankees lineup.

What Martinez did once being traded to the D’backs on July 19 was very impressive.

He hit .302/.366/.741 with 13 doubles, 29 home runs and 65 RBI in just 62 regular season games with Arizona — then hit .364 with one home run in three games during the NLDS against the Dodgers.

Martinez’s 45 home runs in 2017 were a career-high and it was his fourth straight season with at least 20 home runs.

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In 2015 he finished with 38 home runs and 102 RBI for the Tigers — while hitting .282/.344/.535 to win a Silver Slugger Award, in addition to being named to the AL All-Star team.

Martinez is still only 30-years-old and being in his prime, he should continue producing at a high level for years to come, which helps make his case for a large free agent deal.

He’s dealt with a number of injuries over the past two seasons and his defense has been an issue at times but his time in Arizona proves he can be a difference-maker.

The Yankees have Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier and Jacoby Ellsbury all competing for three outfield spots and they’re not expected to go after another outfielder.

What the organization might do, is try to unload Gardner or Ellsbury in the future to free up space for Frazier, which is why Martinez would make a lot of sense for New York as their full-time DH.

Matt Holliday and Todd Frazier are set to hit free agency and Martinez is a super fit for that spot.

If the Yankees are able to replace Holliday with Martinez they would have the scariest lineup, not only in the American League but in all of baseball.

Martinez has enjoyed a good amount of success at Yankee Stadium, hitting 333/.366/.615 with two doubles, three home runs and seven RBI in 39 at-bats over 10 games.

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Martinez knows he’s in his prime and reportedly wants around $150-to-210 million over six or seven years. The talented slugger will likely get a five-year deal worth over $120 million and the Yankees should at least discuss signing him as long as the price is right.