Red Sox

Could the Red Sox retain J.D. Martinez and Kyle Schwarber? Bloom chimes in

Red Sox

When designated hitter J.D. Martinez opted in to the final year of his contract Sunday, that spelled the end of the all too brief Kyle Schwarber era in Boston, right?

Not so fast, according to Chaim Bloom.

The Boston Red Sox remain "engaged" in contract talks with Schwarber, Bloom said, even though he would seem to be blocked by Martinez at DH -- unless the team is willing to continue to work with Schwarber as a first baseman.

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"We're going to stay engaged," Bloom said. "Obviously, knowing that J.D. is here changes how we look at our lineup and our position group generally. But as I said after the season, we played some of our best baseball with both guys."

Schwarber declined his $11.5 million mutual option with the Red Sox Friday, electing to instead test free agency after a successful 41-game stint with the team in which he hit .291 with seven home runs, 18 runs batted in and a .957 OPS.

Martinez is under contract through 2022, the final season of a five-year, $110 million pact he signed with Boston prior to the start of the 2018 season. Still extremely productive in 2021 -- he led the majors in doubles, with 42 -- Martinez is six years older than Schwarber.

"They certainly both fit," Bloom said. "It just gives us more clarity going forward as to which bats we might take as we reshape and put together this position player group for 2022."