The Mets have had continued dialogue with J.D. Martinez’s camp on the Boras Company, reviews Mike Puma of the New York Put up (X link). There’s no indication a deal is shut or essentially doubtless, however New York continues to judge the marketplace for veteran hitters.
Final week, The Athletic’s Will Sammon reported the Mets had been leaning in the direction of counting on younger bats like Brett Baty and Mark Vientos on the designated hitter spot. That got here with the caveat that New York was amenable to leaping into the fray for a veteran free agent if the participant’s asking value fell into the membership’s consolation zone. It appears the entrance workplace is holding in touch with Martinez concerning that risk.
Martinez and Jorge Soler are the highest unsigned DH choices. Whereas the latter has reportedly had recent discussions with the Giants, there’s not but an settlement between the 2 sides. The Mets have solely been loosely tied to Soler this offseason, whereas their reported curiosity in Martinez dates again to December.
A six-time All-Star, Martinez is coming off a robust yr with the Dodgers. He related on 33 house runs over 479 journeys to the plate. His .271/.321/.572 batting line was his finest since 2019. In a typical offseason, he might need acquired the qualifying provide from Los Angeles. The Dodgers knew they had been making ready for a pursuit of Shohei Ohtani, so that they didn’t probability a QO that would’ve tied up greater than $20MM on one other DH. As soon as Ohtani agreed to signal with L.A., that compelled Martinez to search for a 3rd workforce in as a few years.
There are some considerations with Martinez, whilst he profiles as top-of-the-line offensive gamers nonetheless obtainable. He’ll flip 37 in August and is actually restricted to DH. Martinez was by no means a superb defensive outfielder and has solely began one recreation in left discipline during the last two seasons.
Final yr’s energy resurgence additionally got here at the price of a number of extra whiffs. Martinez punched out in a personal-high 31.1% of his plate appearances. He solely made contact on 67.5% of his swings, the bottom fee of his profession. As long as he continues hitting the ball as onerous as he did a yr in the past, the strikeouts aren’t an enormous concern. They don’t go away a lot margin for error if he loses any bat velocity, nonetheless.
Throughout his final free agent journey, Martinez inked a reasonably modest $10MM contract. That was beneath basic expectations and it appeared as if he took a reduction to go to L.A., the place he reunited together with his earlier hitting teacher (and present Dodger hitting coach) Robert Van Scoyoc. His camp may search for a two-year deal this time round. Even when he’s restricted to one-year presents, Martinez ought to surpass the $12.5MM that the Diamondbacks assured Joc Pederson and will look to exceed the $23.5MM which Teoscar Hernández secured from the Dodgers.
The Mets are taxed at a 110% fee for any additional spending. They’re nicely into the fourth tier of luxurious penalization and dealing with the very best penalties as a third-time repeat payor. Steve Cohen’s possession tenure has been marked by a willingness to spend, however the group has taken a extra focused strategy to free company throughout David Stearns’ first offseason as baseball operations president. They’re making an attempt to strike a stability of remaining on the border of playoff rivalry in 2024 whereas trying to ’25 as their goal for a renewed full-fledged push.