Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez will have an opportunity to return to free agency during the upcoming offseason, but the 33-year-old designated hitter admitted to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe on Thursday that he’d be leery of testing the open market off a pandemic-shortened season.
Regarding the 60-game schedule, Martinez said: “I would not want to be a free agent during this time for that reason. You just don’t know.”
As Martinez implied, a shorter season is more conducive to strange outcomes – perhaps damaging ones for pending free agents – than a 162-game slate. For instance, one of the surprises of this season has been the typically great Martinez’s underwhelming production, and he’s running out of time to boost his numbers.
After a run as one of the game’s elite offensive players from 2014-19, which he divided among Detroit, Arizona and Boston, Martinez has put up a.234/.317/.406 line with just three home runs in 145 plate appearances. Martinez’s .172 isolated power number sits 80 points under last year’s figure (.252), while his hard-hit rate and Statcast numbers have also fallen off significantly since then.
Martinez’s 2o20 woes may just be a product of a much smaller sample size than normal, though he nonetheless hasn’t done himself any favors as a potential…