Posted on January 2, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
The baseball hot stove has been quite cool this offseason. Even with Christmas and New Year’s behind us, there has been little movement outside of a few marquee moves. Many of the top free agents remain available, most notably outfielder J.D. Martinez. Agent Scott Boras had high hopes for Martinez at the start of the offseason, but teams have been reluctant to meet that asking price. Nevertheless, there are plenty of suitors for Martinez. Here’s a breakdown of each team’s odds of signing the top offensive players on the free agent market.
Blue Jays – 10%
On the surface, the Blue Jays seem like an odd landing spot for Martinez. For starters, it’s unclear if Toronto has the kind of money it’ll take to sign Martinez. However, the Blue Jays could get creative by signing Martinez and then trading away Josh Donaldson, who is just one year away from free agency anyway. It seems unlikely, but the longer he stays available, the more likely the cost to sign Martinez will drop into Toronto’s price range.
Diamondbacks – 15%
After Martinez finished the season in Arizona, the Diamondbacks made it clear that they’d like him back. There have been reports that the Diamondbacks are open to trading Zack Greinke, which could help them free up money to sign Martinez. Much like Toronto, Arizona could become a more realistic landing spot for Martinez the longer he stays on the market and the more his price drops.
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Giants – 15%
The Giants are a team to watch closely with Martinez because they seem bound and determined to make a big move or two, even after trading for Evan Longoria. They worked hard to acquire both Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton but failed to land either. San Francisco’s outfield is in rough shape at the moment, making it a virtual certainty that they’ll sign one of the top free agents available. That could lead to the Giants making a serious run at signing Martinez.
Red Sox – 40%
At the moment, the Red Sox are the overwhelming favorites to land Martinez. There are reports that Boston has a five-year offer to Martinez on the table, although that’s less than what Boras was seeking early in the offseason. Unlike some of the other teams in pursuit of Martinez, money doesn’t appear to be a huge issue for the Red Sox. However, Boston’s problem is that they have a full outfield and Martinez has said he doesn’t want to DH. The Red Sox will have to remedy that in order to close the deal. However, they are definitely the favorites to sign him right now.
Nationals – 10%
Washington has long been viewed as a dark horse to sign Martinez. The Nationals could lose both Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy in free agency next offseason. They could potentially offer Martinez a backloaded contract in anticipation of losing those two players, particularly Harper. Washington may not have a ton of money to spend this winter, and they haven’t been particularly active or present in the rumor mill. But the Nationals have proven in the past that they can get creative when it comes to money, so they could become an interesting party the longer Martinez remains unsigned.
The Field – 10%
The longer Martinez remains unsigned, the more likely other teams will enter the picture. There haven’t been too many teams directly connected to Martinez. But if the price to sign him comes down, there are a few rather unpredictable teams out there that could enter the picture and become legitimate suitors to land Martinez.