Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

As spring camps begin to open around the league, J.D. Martinez is among the prominent free agents who is still trying to work out his next contract. It has long been supposed that he and the Red Sox have been engaged in a staredown, with the team sitting on a five-year, $125MM offer and Martinez’s camp searching for more.

The latest reports indicate that is not quite an accurate picture …

  • The Red Sox’ current top offer to Martinez is “in the vicinity” of only $100MM, according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. That’s quite a lot less than has generally been stated, and certainly paints a different picture of the present state of affairs for the market’s top slugger. While the Sox are still smitten with Martinez, Speier writes, the organization is also not particularly interested in running up its bid when demand from other teams is questionable. The article discusses the broader opportunity that Boston may have on a still-dragging market, given its willingness to move past the luxury tax line in a winter where others are declining to do so.
  • Of course, demand can have a way of forming to fill vacuums, and Martinez and his reps at the Boras Corporation are no doubt hoping that’ll occur over the coming weeks. The Diamondbacks are, notably, still working on creative means of bringing Martinez back into the fold, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. That could mean broaching the idea of a shorter deal with a big annual salary and opt-out opportunities, Heyman suggests, though the details of any offers to this point remain hazy. Such a pact might ameliorate concerns with locking into another massive, long-term entanglement, though it’d cut down on the upside for the team and would no doubt still require a big jump in payroll (or further creativity in the form of shedding other contracts). Whatever the details, though, Heyman says there’s some added optimism on the Arizona side that the team could have a real shot at pulling off a surprise deal.
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This article first appeared on MLB Trade Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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