When the list of A.L. MVP finalists was released earlier this week, there was one glaring exception: J.D. Martinez.
The star slugger had an excellent first season in Boston after being signed to a mammoth contract over the offseason. He played a key role in their franchise-record 108 wins, and helped lead the team in every aspect to a World Series victory.
His agent, Scott Boras, has represented some of the best baseball players in the game over the course of three decades. Wednesday at the GM meetings in California, he said that the way Martinez impacted the Red Sox with his leadership was something he'd never seen before. Consequently, Boras put the voters who left Martinez off the finalist ballot on blast for what he considered to be a grevious error.
"His leadership and impact on the team was extraordinary… I don’t know of any player at any time in my career that’s had a greater impact on a team, apart from his performance, with his leadership and influence in the locker rom and the unique information he conveyed.
"I don't know of any player ever that's had more of an impact than what J.D. did in 2018."
Scott Boras on J.D. Martinez pic.twitter.com/IDyvibGw93— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) November 7, 2018
That's some high praise, even if it's expected, coming from an agent who's represented Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, and Greg Maddux, among others over the duration of his career.
Boras went on to passionately express his opinion that Martinez's absence from the finalist ballot is an absurd transgression.
"Every voter should be brought publicly into a forum and be taken to task for their negligence... There's a complete breach of understanding of the value of a player."
Martinez certainly had a season that is worth MVP consideration, and his absence from the finalists list comes as a surprise to more people than just Boras.
Individual accolades aside, it sounds like Martinez had more of an impact than we may ever realize on this year's Red Sox team, and it ended in a championship.
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