Chaim Bloom and the Boston Red Sox have been very careful not to label themselves as "sellers" ahead of the MLB trade deadline.
But it sure sounds like they're about to part with their All-Star designated hitter between now and Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET.
There is a "good likelihood" that the Red Sox trade J.D. Martinez ahead of the deadline, The Boston Globe's Alex Speier reported Friday morning, citing "multiple industry sources."
One American League executive told Speier that Martinez is "as good as gone" from Boston, while another AL source suggested to Speier that the Red Sox "are preparing to deal Martinez and other role players."
Even if the Red Sox believe they contend in the postseason -- they're 3.5 games out of a wild card spot at 50-50 as of Friday -- it makes sense to trade Martinez, who is set to leave the team in unrestricted free agency this offseason.
While Martinez will turn 35 in August and has struggled in the power department this season (nine home runs and 38 RBIs through 100 games), he's still hitting .293 and can be a middle-of-the-order threat for a contender like the Los Angeles Dodgers, who reportedly have "kicked the tires" on acquiring Martinez.
What the Red Sox could get in return for Martinez remains unclear. Speier mentions the Minnesota Twins landing starting pitcher Joe Ryan from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for rental DH Nelson Cruz last season as a possible comparison, but notes Cruz had better stats than Martinez does in 2022. Boston also could demand one or two high-end prospects in return for Martinez.
At this point, it appears to be a matter of what the Red Sox can get in a trade for Martinez, not if a deal will happen. Even Martinez seems resigned to the idea that he won't be in Boston at this time next week.
“Not if we don’t start winning. That’s about as simple as I can put it,” Martinez told Speier on Thursday afternoon when asked if he believed he'd stay with the Red Sox past the deadline. "I would understand it. I wouldn’t be upset about it.
"Of course I want to be here, stay here. I’m a lot more comfortable here. I would prefer the club wins today, starts a winning streak, and makes it real hard on them."
The Red Sox did win Thursday night, but it sounds like Martinez's fate may already be sealed.