Yankees: ESPN envisions JD Martinez signing with Bombers
As Spring Training gets underway tomorrow, a number of sluggers remain unsigned. ESPN has released an article detailing how and why the Yankees could consider adding Red Sox target, JD Martinez.
Over the past few days, we’ve heard the rumblings of free agent JD Martinez being “fed up” waiting for a suitable contract from the Boston Red Sox. This discrepancy has led ESPN senior writer David Schoenfield to compile a list of clubs Martinez should now consider, including the Yankees.
Though the term “long shot” may not do this scenario justice — in his piece, Schoenfield suggests that if the Yanks were to add Martinez to their already robust offensive lineup, doing so would be more cost-effective than signing the likes of Manny Machado next offseason.
"Martinez gives you Machado’s bat for a lower AAV, and if Andujar is legit, they won’t need a third baseman anyway."
Now a boatload of things would need to fall perfectly in line for Martinez, who is coming off a 45 homer season, split between Detroit and Arizona, to potentially don the iconic pinstripes.
First, as everyone and their mother knows, Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman has all but been instructed NOT to exceed the $197 million luxury tax threshold.
However, as Schoenfield breaks down, the club can actually afford Martinez’s $150 million demand, spread out over six seasons.
"Cot’s Contracts has their estimated payroll at around $162 million. Throw in about $10 million for benefits and other things that factor into the tax threshold and you are at $172 million. If Martinez needs a six-year, $150 million contract, that’s an AAV of $25 million, pushing the Yankees right up to that $197 million figure."
Then there is the issue of a crowded outfield becoming even more jammed-packed. Martinez is not the world’s most athletic defender. Instead, some club is likely to overpay him for his stellar bat alone.
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On any American League team, Martinez is an everyday designated hitter. So what would that do to manager Aaron’s Boone’s plans of rotating the DH spot between Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner and so on?
In this scenario, Schoenfield has the organization trading from their plethora of outfielders. And I hate to break it you, but even in this fictitious situation, STILL, no one wants Jacoby Ellsbury — meaning Brett Gardner’s one-year, $11.5 million contract would be sent packing.
With Judge sliding to left field full-time, Stanton reclaiming right field and Aaron Hicks firmly planted in center, Gardy becomes expendable.
Trading away the 10-year homegrown product would be a very unpopular move with the fans, especially considering he’s the only legitimate leadoff hitter the Yanks have.
However, Schoenfield suggests that adding another stick capable of a projected 31 longballs in ’18 would go a long way to quelling any unrest in the Bronx.
"Plus, you get to make Red Sox fans cry and create one awesome Murderers’ Row of sluggers. Can you say 300 home runs?"
This article is a lot of fun. And considering the acquisition of Stanton this winter, you should never put anything past Brian Cashman.
Next: Yankees checking in on Jake Odorizzi
But personally, the longer Martinez stays on the market, the more I believe he returns to the Diamondbacks where he enjoyed a historic second-half to the 2017 season.
JD staying put in the desert allows the Yankees to stand pat, and see if Andujar is ready to handle the hot corner at the big league level. If not, then Manny Machado gets that much closer to the Bronx.