Potential Rays trade target: J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox
Before you just think this is unrealistic, think about it for a minute. The question is would Tampa eat his contract as J.D. Martinez was due a little over $8.8 million due to the agreement of the 60-game prorated salaries for this season. Martinez has the next two seasons with player options of $19.35 million, which would be 67 percent of what the Rays spent on contracts for their entire team for 2020. It’s highly unlikely he would get that money on the free-agent market so he will probably accept the option, no matter the team.
However, the Boston Red Sox are in complete rebuild mode with Chaim Bloom and will be looking to shed as much money as possible and get as high of a draft pick as possible. Bloom was the Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations in Tampa and means he has lasting relationships with the front office. Would Boston be in a situation like they were with trading David Price to the Dodgers by eating a chunk of the contract to get rid of the contract?
Martinez fits what Tampa needs, a righty bat with power. He has good numbers in the Trop and a .925 OPS during the playoffs. The veteran experience could also help some of the young guys in the clubhouse. This also makes either Ji-Man Choi or Jose Martinez expendable with his addition as they occupy the DH spot and that’s where JD Martinez would be penciled in every game. This move could make the Rays middle of the order look a lot more intimidating and provide protection to guys like Yoshi Tsustugo or Jose Martinez.