At the conclusion of the 2021 campaign, the slugger had a chance to opt out of his deal with the team and become a free agent, but on Sunday, he elected not to do so.
As a result, the 34-year-old will remain with the Red Sox for the 2022 season.
J.D. Martinez will not opt out of his contract to enter free agency this offseason…
He’s staying with the Red Sox 🙌 pic.twitter.com/p2f9Z8rN1K
— Guy Boston Sports (@GuyBostonSports) November 7, 2021
For all involved parties, this is pretty big.
What does it mean for Boston?
First Of All, It Means The Red Sox Are Retaining One Of Their Best Bats
Good news first: The Red Sox are going to be able to enjoy Martinez’s production for another season.
The four-time All-Star has posted some monster numbers during all four of his seasons with Boston, and it seems like 2022 could be more of the same.
Overall, he’s batting .297 as a member of the Red Sox with a .917 OPS and 139 OPS+.
In 2021, he posted an OPS of .867 and OPS+ of 126.
That sort of production is very hard to replace, and fortunately for Boston, the team doesn’t have to worry about losing it.
Unfortunately, Martinez’s Decision To Stay With Red Sox Might Mean The End Of Kyle Schwarber’s Stint In Boston
For any Red Sox fans hoping to see Kyle Schwarber back in Boston in 2022, Sunday probably wasn’t a great day.
Martinez’s decision to stay with the Red Sox puts a big dent in the chances of Schwarber returning.
That’s for a couple of reasons.
One, having both guys around is an imperfect fit.
Neither has a true home defensively on this Red Sox team, and both are better suited as designated hitters.
That makes it tough to justify keeping both players.
Martinez's decision seemingly makes it all but impossible for the Red Sox to bring back Kyle Schwarber. Unlikely to pay two DH-types huge dollars, and 1B Dalbec was great down the stretch, Casas on the horizon.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 7, 2021
Two, Boston is going to have to pick its battle financially this offseason, and with the money the team now owes Martinez in 2022, retaining Schwarber becomes tougher.
The 28-year-old Schwarber just had a career year and is likely going to command a big payday this winter.
Boston might not be the highest bidder.
Despite that, Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom is maintaining that the organization is “engaged” with Schwarber in contract talks.
“We’ve been engaged with Kyle and will stay engaged,” Bloom said. “Obviously knowing J.D. is here changes how we look at the lineup and our player group, generally. But as I said after the season, we played some of our best baseball of the season with both of those guys, they certainly both fit, it just gives us more clarity going forward as to which paths we might take as we reshape and put together this position player group for 2022.”
We’ll see which direction Bloom and Boston end up going here.
Boston had a very successful 2021 season, but that’s in the past now.
Bloom and the Red Sox are clearly focused on what lies ahead.
Martinez’s return is good in some ways and bad in others, but one thing is certain: The organization has no choice but to make the most of it.
It figures to be a very busy offseason for Boston.
Only time will tell if the team takes another step forward in 2022 after reaching the ALCS in 2021.NEXT: Red Sox Reportedly Have Offseason Goals In Place