As the stalemate between the Red Sox and J.D. Martinez -- and any other suitors he may have -- dragged on, there always seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel: The beginning of spring training. Martinez, it was believed, would have to be signed by then, which meant SOMEthing would be happening in the days (or weeks) ahead.
Or maybe not.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported today that Martinez may not be holding to that timetable:
Miami acquaintances of Martinez say he is willing to “hold out,” certainly into spring training, for what he believes should be his market value.
Martinez, who has reportedly received a five-year offer from the Boston Red Sox and, sources suggest, at least one other offer, was thought at the outset of the offseason to be seeking a contract in the $200-million range. Two months later, with spring training rapidly approaching, Martinez's asking price hasn't dipped much, as the one-time All-Star is reportedly still seeking a six-year deal worth at least $180 million.
And that, in the end, may be too rich for the Red Sox' blood.
With the free-agent market almost completely stagnant, many teams appear to be waiting for prices to drop as players get anxious to line up work for 2018 and beyond. But Martinez's agent, Scott Boras, isn't an I'll-drop-my-price kind of guy, and it looks like his client is all in with that strategy.
So we wait. In this paralytic baseball offseason, what else is new?
Red Sox minor league catcher Oscar Hernandez has been handed a 50-game suspension for a second positive test for a drug of abuse, our own Evan Drellich reports.
Hernandez signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox in January and currently is on the Triple-A Pawtucket roster. The 24-year-old will be able to return in late May.
Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will be suspended 15 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy, NBC Sports Boston has learned. The league is set to make the announcement Friday.
Wright, working his way back from right knee surgery, has to serve the suspension when healthy. Potential time on the disabled list to begin the season would not count. Wright is not expected to appeal.
Wright was arrested at his Tennessee home in December following an incident involving his wife, Shannon. Wright was charged with domestic assault and preventing a 911 call, which are misdemeanors in Tennessee, and released on a $2,500 bond.
The case in December was retired by the Williamson County courthouse. If Wright commits no other offenses for a 12-month span, the charges are expected to be dropped.
Fifteen games matches the lowest suspension MLB has given out in relation to a domestic violence case since the league and players union agreed to a policy in 2015. Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia was suspended 15 games in March 2017.
"It's a situation that, it sucks not only for me, but for my family, for the team," Wright told reporters in Florida on Thursday. "But I try not to think about it. When MLB comes out with their discipline, or if there's going to be discipline or not, it's just going to go from there."
Wright said this spring that he did not harm his wife.
“We’ve been going to counseling. We’ve been working through it,” Wright said. “We’ve been trying to do as much as we can to put it past us, but it’s hard. Because MLB is doing their investigation and it’s in the limelight. It’s really hard on a personal level to get past something that’s constantly being thrown at you. But I did it to myself. It’s one of those things that I’ve got to live with the consequences that came from my actions that night.”