Victor Martinez told Rob Bradford of WEEI that the Red Sox offered him a two-year extension. The sides had talked about a similar contract, but the offer surprised the Boston catcher, who would prefer a longer-term deal.
“I don’t really have to do it,” Martinez said. “They came with something, and that might just be where the negotiations start. But I don’t see myself signing a two-year deal. I’m young enough. I work hard and I give it all. I just want to be treated fair.”
Martinez, 31, says he wants to play for five or six more years and sees himself as a catcher, rather than a first baseman or designated hitter. He prefers catching, but Martinez says his top priority will be to join a club that can compete for a World Series title.
Many teams will likely have interest in Martinez if he hits the open market, since he will arguably be the best offensive catcher available. So far in 2010, he has 14 homers and a .292/.339/.466 batting line. His .804 OPS beats potential free agent catchers A.J. Pierzynski, John Buck and Rod Barajas.
Martinez currently projects as a Type A free agent, which means the Red Sox would obtain two top picks if the catcher turns down arbitration to sign elsewhere. V-Mart says he wants to sign long term, so he'd surely turn arbitration down, but that would leave the Red Sox without a catcher. Jason Varitek, also a free agent after the season, plans to continue playing, but it would be a surprise to see Boston hand the veteran a starting job.