Red Sox

Don't panic over J.D. Martinez physical . . . yet

File photo

Don't panic over J.D. Martinez physical . . . yet

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The waiting room includes the entirety of Red Sox Nation.

Another day has passed without J.D. Martinez being introduced in a Red Sox uniform. He is in Florida, awaiting a press conference like everyone else. But the Sox haven’t completed their medical process.

Don’t freak out yet.


Martinez and the Sox agreed to terms on Tuesday. Two days in between an agreement and completion of all the medical work is not a long time by any stretch. There were three days in between David Price reportedly agreeing to terms and his introduction, for just one example.

“I have no information from them other than the review is not yet complete,” Scott Boras said Thursday.

Martinez, then, would seem to be in the dark. On one hand, why not keep the player and the agent in loop? On the other hand, if the team is investigating something that could prove to be nothing, why raise alarm unnecessarily?

The fact the Sox are in Florida and their doctors are Boston-based has worked against them logistically. Could there be a matter the Sox want reviewed with great care, an extra set of eyes? Sure. Wouldn’t you almost hope, in the case of a nine-figure investment, that the Sox would take this process slowly and carefully? Speculatively, Martinez well might have a "red flag." But that doesn't mean he's truly damaged goods, or that his contract would need to be reworked.

Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wrote in an email that he was unsure whether Martinez could work out with the team on Friday. For you optimists out there, he appeared to be leaving the door open. 

Perhaps the Sox are flying a specialist down to see Martinez. One baseball source said Thursday it was possible Martinez would meet with another doctor after going through exams on Wednesday, but it was unclear if that became a firm plan. Either way -- an in-person examination or a further review of records from afar -- what's happening now is all part of the same process of due diligence as best anyone can tell.

At this point, there’s no reason to think the Sox have graduated from due diligence to great alarm, from investigation to finding, as they finalize this deal. 

Another speculative point: teams sometimes take out insurance on big-dollar players, and that's not an instantaneous process. Martinez could make up to $110 million with the Sox.



MLB Rumors: Red Sox place Sandy Leon on waivers


MLB Rumors: Red Sox place Sandy Leon on waivers

Sandy Leon appears to be the odd man out behind the plate for the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox have placed the veteran catcher on waivers, WEEI's Evan Drellich reported Sunday. That means MLB's other clubs have 48 hours to claim Leon; if not, he can be assigned to Boston's minor league team, traded or released outright.

The Sox reportedly had been "actively discussing" trades for the 30-year-old catcher but apparently couldn't find a suitor with Opening Day just four days away.

Leon is an excellent defensive catcher and hit .310 during a stellar 2016 campaign but has fallen off steeply at the plate since, posting a .177 batting average over 89 games in 2018.

With Dustin Pedroia back in the fold, Boston was intent on carrying only two catchers into the regular season. Christian Vazquez likely will get the start Thursday in Seattle, with Blake Swihart in a backup role.

UPDATEThe Red Sox have informed Blake Swihart that he has made the team, per Evan Drellich. The team will roll with the duo of Vazquez and Swihart on Opening Day. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Red Sox fans won't like Alex Rodriguez's latest Aaron Judge comments


Red Sox fans won't like Alex Rodriguez's latest Aaron Judge comments

Major League Baseball needs a face, and two of the best candidates play for the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.

With all due respect to Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout, the top two players to be the marquee superstar in baseball are Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts and Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge.

Betts is the reigning American League MVP, a three-time Gold Glove winner and a World Series champion. Judge is a towering figure at 6-foot-7 who hits massive home runs and has helped lead the league's most historic franchise to the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.

So, who's the biggest superstar in baseball? Former Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez recently gave his answer to WFAN's Mike Francesca, and Red Sox fans aren't going to like it.

If the competition for the league's biggest star was based on stats and winning, Betts probably would take the crown. The case for Judge improves if you include personality and other intangibles. Rodriguez is right about Judge being a "transcendant athlete." Judge's immense size and the power he brings to the plate play into that, and baseball would be wise to market those exciting attritubes he brings to the field.

Both Betts and Judge admitted recently they have a lot of respect for each other, and their emergence as premier stars has helped bring back the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry after it died down a bit following an intense 2004 season.

Betts deserves to be the leader for the title of MLB's biggest star entering 2019 after he won almost every individual award and the World Series last year. But you can bet Judge will be highly motivated to knock his rival off that perch, especially after the Red Sox sent the Yankees home for the winter in the American League Division Series last October.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device