FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox were able to land J.D. Martinez because of more than just the dollars. The two opt-outs in the deal -- one after Year 2 and another after Year 3 -- are really what came out of the protracted negotiations.
The inclusion of the opt out after Year 2, in particular, was a tipping point, and something the Red Sox weren’t willing to do right off the bat. The dollars the Sox were willing to spend never greatly changed. Martinez's deal could be worth as much as $110 million and go for as long as five years.
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Another important element to Martinez, not to be overlooked: Martinez has also been told he will indeed get some outfield time, a baseball source said Wednesday. The Sox have a full regular outfield with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts. But injuries happen, Bradley and Benintendi could occasionally sit against lefties and manager Alex Cora wants to keep guys as fresh as possible.
The high average annual value of Martinez’s deal, $50 million over the first two years if he opts out -- or $71.25 million over three years if he opts out after year three -- give Martinez a chance for even greater earning potential. A potentially short commitment can be good for the Sox as well.