As the stalemate between the Red Sox and J.D. Martinez -- and any other suitors he may have -- dragged on, there always seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel: The beginning of spring training. Martinez, it was believed, would have to be signed by then, which meant SOMEthing would be happening in the days (or weeks) ahead.
Or maybe not.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported today that Martinez may not be holding to that timetable:
Miami acquaintances of Martinez say he is willing to "hold out," certainly into spring training, for what he believes should be his market value.
Martinez, who has reportedly received a five-year offer from the Boston Red Sox and, sources suggest, at least one other offer, was thought at the outset of the offseason to be seeking a contract in the $200-million range. Two months later, with spring training rapidly approaching, Martinez's asking price hasn't dipped much, as the one-time All-Star is reportedly still seeking a six-year deal worth at least $180 million.
And that, in the end, may be too rich for the Red Sox' blood.
With the free-agent market almost completely stagnant, many teams appear to be waiting for prices to drop as players get anxious to line up work for 2018 and beyond. But Martinez's agent, Scott Boras, isn't an I'll-drop-my-price kind of guy, and it looks like his client is all in with that strategy.
So we wait. In this paralytic baseball offseason, what else is new?