J.D. Martinez has another opt-out in his contract after the 2021 season and his deal ends in 2022, but he hopes to stay with the Red Sox longer than that.
Martinez, who signed a five-year, $110 million deal during spring training in 2018, has enjoyed great success during his first three years in Boston despite a horrendous 2020 campaign, and it doesn’t sound like he prefers to be anywhere else. Asked Tuesday if he sees a long future with the Red Sox beyond his contract, the 33-year-old Martinez said it’s something he wants.
“That’s what I’m hoping, honestly,” Martinez said. “I’ve hoped that since the first time I signed here. This is a special organization. A lot of guys don’t get to play for the Red Sox, the Yankees, the Dodgers, the Cubs, like those historic franchises. So anytime you get to go into one of those franchises, it’s just a family at that point. Especially when you’ve been there for a while and you win, you become one of those names where you’re known forever.
“Everyone ... will forever know David Ortiz and Pedro Martinez, and those guys that have been here for years so obviously it’s one of those things where that would obviously be a dream.”
In touch with JBJMartinez has stayed in contact with Jackie Bradley Jr., who is still a free agent, and said the center fielder told him he has multiple offers but is waiting for “one person to take the next step so he can go ahead and sign.”
If Bradley ends up signing elsewhere, which seems likely, Martinez will miss him.
“He’s a big loss. I love Jackie,” Martinez said. “Obviously we’ve gotten close over the years. He’s a great teammate. He’s a great player. He’s a big part of our success since I’ve been here. I wish him the best in everything he does. I hope he gets the most for himself and his family.
“Obviously, if we do lose him, it will be a blow. He is, to me, the best center fielder in the game defensively, obviously.”
Yorke’s first camp
Nick Yorke, the Red Sox’ first-round draft pick last year, is soaking up his first spring training by learning from some established major leaguers. This spring, that’s what it’s all about for the 18-year-old infielder, who graduated from high school only last year.
“I asked him one question. I go, ‘So, who are you going to follow in spring training? Who’s the guy that you’re going to ask questions and you’re going to follow?’” manager Alex Cora said. “And he goes, Enrique Hernandez. I said, ‘That’s a good one. Who else are you going to follow?’ He goes, J.D. I said, ‘No, no no, don’t follow J.D. right now. Let’s keep it simple and I said just follow Xander. Follow Xander Bogaerts from 7 a.m. until whenever we’re done and you’ll be in a good spot.’
“That’s what we want from him. We know he has potential, but he’s here. Kind of like when (Bobby) Dalbec went to Fenway for a week in 2019. He’s going to spend a lot of time with us and that’s what I want him to do. Just learn, keep working, understand what it takes to be a big-leaguer and he’ll be a big-leaguer. He’ll be a big-leaguer.”