The writing was on the wall for J.D. Martinez.
"I would not want to be a free agent during this time" is what he said about potentially opting out of the last two years of his Red Sox contract, when asked in early September.
"It’s probably not leaning that way" is how he felt about opting out when asked in late September.
And now the decision has reportedly been made. According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, Martinez has decided not to opt out of Sox deal.
The decision makes total sense for the Boston DH, who is coming off arguably the worst season of his career. His slash line was an abysmal .213/.291/.389 this past season, with just 7 home runs in 54 games.
That lack of production combined with MLB's uncertain free agent outlook for 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic means the safe bet is remaining in Boston, where he's owed $19,350,000 this coming season. Martinez also has another opt-out built into his contract after this coming season, so he always has the chance to opt out and become a free agent heading into next offseason as well.
For the Red Sox, they'll hope Martinez can rediscover his form from his first two seasons in Boston, when he hit .317 with 79 HR and 235 RBI, anchoring the middle of their lineup and providing some needed pop alongside Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers.