Three-time All-Star J.D. Martinez has decided not to opt out of his contract with the Red Sox, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, as the slugger can earn $62.5 million over the next three years.
Martinez does still have opt-out options after both the 2020 and 2021 seasons, but the move serves as an initial domino in Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom’s first offseason with the Red Sox.
The 32-year-old Martinez is regarded as one of the best sluggers in baseball and will be a centerpiece of a Red Sox lineup that includes Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts.
Bloom will now likely work to figure out the team’s long-term plan for Mookie Betts as while Betts is one of the best players in baseball, he is entering the final year of his contract and will make close to $30 million in arbitration.
Boston’s new lead baseball executive was given a clear directive when he inherited the Boston job: Get the team under the luxury-tax threshold. Martinez’s decision to return to the Red Sox, at least in the near-term, could impact how the 2018 World Series winners proceed.