Red Sox

If NL adds DH, enjoy your last look at J.D. Martinez in a Red Sox uniform

If NL adds DH, enjoy your last look at J.D. Martinez in a Red Sox uniform

If baseball adopts a universal designated hitter in 2020, say goodbye to J.D. Martinez.

The New York Post's Joel Sherman reported on Sunday that the National League may employ a DH this year to save wear and tear on pitchers during a shortened season, and once that door opens, it's hard to imagine the Senior Circuit going back.

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A full-time DH in the NL would make Martinez one of the most desirable commodities in free agency just a year after he didn't even bother opting out of his Red Sox contract because he knew there'd be no suitors.

Martinez can opt out of his five-year, $110 million contract again this offseason, and part of his calculus in remaining with the Red Sox was the possibility that the NL would add the DH for 2021, thereby doubling his market.

In reality, his market will more than double, because no NL team currently fields a DH, which means they'll all be starting from scratch. In the American League, Martinez knew that teams like the Twins (Nelson Cruz), Angels (Shohei Ohtani), and Astros (Yordan Alvarez), to name three, had no use for his services. His market this winter was effectively the White Sox, and they signed Edwin Encarnacion.

Now he'll be able to add the Dodgers, Cubs, Braves, Nationals, Phillies — you name the deep-pocketed team, and Martinez is a potential fit.

It's ludicrous that he couldn't find a market this season. The 32-year-old has made consecutive All-Star teams while averaging 40 homers and 118 RBIs with the Red Sox. He's hitting .317 with a .985 OPS in that span.

Beyond the numbers, he's also a legitimate middle-of-the-order threat in the mold of David Ortiz, someone who can handle the responsibility of being the focus of rival gameplans before every series. Players from Xander Bogaerts to Mookie Betts to Andrew Benintendi have made no secret of Martinez's impact on the lineup. Even a superstar like Betts considered himself a supporting player setting the table for the slugging DH.

Add Martinez's slavish devotion to video and the science of hitting — it's no coincidence that Bogaerts joined the launch-angle revolution with All-Star results once Martinez joined the team — and you have a player who can impact an offense both on and off the field.

He turns 33 in August, but the continued production of players like the 39-year-old Cruz and the 37-year-old Encarnacion suggests that a DH can remain viable well into his 30s.

We have no idea what free agency will look like in a post-COVID world, but this fall would be a good time for Martinez to hit the market from a purely financial standpoint. He'll make $23.75 million before his salaries drop to $19.35 million in 2021 and 2022.

He's easily a $20 million-a-year player in a robust market, and it's hard to imagine a better scenario for his future than half of the teams in baseball suddenly realizing they're desperate for a player just like him.

Yes, these 10 Hall of Famers actually played for the Red Sox

Yes, these 10 Hall of Famers actually played for the Red Sox

The storied history of the Red Sox includes no shortage of all-time great Hall of Famers, from Ted Williams to Carl Yastrzemski to Pedro Martinez. When we hear their names, we immediately associate them with Boston.

But there's another group of Hall of Famers who don't scream Red Sox, but actually spent a portion of their careers here.

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The slick-fielding Luis Aparicio spent his final three seasons in Boston, memorably tripping around third in a crucial showdown with the Tigers for the 1972 pennant.

Frank Chance of Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance fame actually spent a year behind the bench, managing the Red Sox to an eighth-place finish in 1923.

Turn-of-the-century right-hander Jack Chesbro, a Massachusetts native, made the final appearance of his career with his hometown team in the 1909 season finale.

None of them make the following list, however, which is the 10 Hall of Famers we still can't believe suited up for the Red Sox, from a 300-game winner to a stolen base king to one of the greatest pure hitters of all time.

Click here for the gallery.

Rafael Devers rejoins Red Sox workouts after COVID-19 scare

Rafael Devers rejoins Red Sox workouts after COVID-19 scare

Rafael Devers didn't work out with his teammates at Fenway Park for the first week of summer camp because the Red Sox feared he had been exposed to COVID-19.

After three tests came up negative, however, Devers was cleared to return and joined his teammates at Fenway Park on Wednesday afternoon for live batting practice.

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He had been working out at Boston College with other possible positive cases, manager Ron Roenicke said, out of an abundance of caution.

"We had some guys that were possibly exposed to somebody with coronavirus," Roenicke said via Zoom on Wednesday. "This group has tested negative three times. We will continue to test them, just because we're being overly cautious. That's kind of why we've separated some of the guys from the later workouts."

Devers hopes to bat in Thursday's intrasquad scrimmage, Roenicke said, because he's anxious to lock in his timing at the plate against big league pitching. If all goes well, he'd likely play third base in Friday's scrimmage.

"He's concerned about seeing velocity," Roenicke said. "We were able to do that over there with him with the pitching machine in the cage. He'll do that again and see live BP today, which is helpful, and then if he's ready for a couple of at-bats, we'll have him in the intrasquad tomorrow."

Added Roenicke: "I know with him, he's a little concerned, because he's trying to catch up and make sure he's getting all the work in that he needs."

There's no overstating Devers' importance to the lineup after a breakout 2019 in which he hit .311 with 32 homers, 115 RBIs, and a league-leading 54 doubles and 359 total bases.

With Mookie Betts in Los Angeles, Devers is expected to be one of the driving forces in the lineup, alongside Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez.