Red Sox Offer Martinez Two-Year Deal

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.


Leave a Reply

74 Comments on "Red Sox Offer Martinez Two-Year Deal"


4 years 11 months ago

well… that isn’t gonna get it done.

andrewyf
4 years 11 months ago

Looks like another bridge year for the Sox in 2011. But keep piling up those draft picks! They have a small chance of paying dividends in 2015!

4 years 11 months ago

let’s not forget Salty. He is a legit option.

tsc32
4 years 11 months ago

Saltalamacchia is a legit option for Boston? That’s sad. He couldn’t even beat out the weak catching staff we have in Texas.

tsc32
4 years 11 months ago

Saltalamacchia is a “legit” option for the Sox? That’s sad. He couldn’t even beat out the weak group of catchers we have out here in Texas. Not to mention he goes on the DL every other month.

moonraker45
4 years 11 months ago

I think they’d get john buck on this deal, but its a pretty low ball to vmart.

Soxdrivemecrazy
4 years 11 months ago

I always try to have faith in what Theo does but c’mon, 2 years? A switch hitting catcher who hits for average with some power, can you say Jorge Posada? Sure he doesn’t have the best defense in the world but I think he’s young enough to get at least 4 years! I only wonder what the sox have up their sleeves to be okay with letting him walk.

andrewyf
4 years 11 months ago

They don’t have things up their sleeve. Their modus operandi is to appear smart, above everything else. Their organization is built more around PR than actual performance. It’s why you see nearly every major player who leaves via Free Agency thrashed to bits in the Red Sox-controlled media.

Look what happened this year with the Yankees and Johnny Damon. Damon wanted a ridiculous amount of money, much more than he’s worth, and the Yankees were prepared to give him 2 years at $10 million each (less than what he was asking for, but clearly very reasonable, an overpay even, look what he eventually got). But Damon stonewalled, the Yankees moved on, and Damon had to be let go as there was no more room for him on the team. The Yankees were TRASHED for making such a decision, and all they said to defend themselves was that they didn’t meet eye to eye on a contract. They didn’t have the media deem Damon a money-grabber, or a me-first guy. They killed the Yankees for daring to let such a loved member of the team go.

Contrast that with, well, when the Red Sox let Damon go in favor of a younger option in Coco Crisp. The fans and media RALLIED around the Boston FO, and declared Damon a (heh) ‘trader’ to all things good and righteous. Nevermind that the move didn’t work, Damon was public enemy number 1 and the Sox teflon FO came out smelling like roses. The Red Sox FO’s biggest strength is not player development, or team building, it’s media and fan manipulation. They’re probably the best team in the majors at it. Sure, sometimes it blows up in their faces (let us never forget the utter humiliation suffered by the Red Sox when John Henry hilariously tried and failed to play the media against Mark Teixeira), but look at their ravenous fan base. That’s pure PR, baby.

greggpf
4 years 11 months ago

I have to agree with this, although Damon publicly stated that he WOULD NOT go to the NYY. The rest is spot on, and this is coming from a pretty rabid Sox fan.

Well stated.

4 years 11 months ago

Call me crazy, but I think you mean traitor.

I don’t know if Damon would trade all things good and righteous, but it would be a bit of surprise where he would find the time to do so.

4 years 11 months ago

I agree with the PR aspects, but how are you gonna say their biggest strength isn’t player development lol…that’s clearly their biggest strength. They have done an amazing job drafting and developing players.

ronny9
4 years 11 months ago

There’s that outlook and then there’s the fact that you are comparing apples to oranges here.

On one hand you are saying the Yankees didn’t see eye to eye on a contract with a player that was well beyond his prime (no matter what his bloated offensive #’s in Yankee stadium in 2009 make you think) not only was old, but he was moving from the Yankees to a team that isn’t a rival, isn’t in the same division, and hasn’t competed (relatively speaking) recently.

You can’t compare that to when he left the sox for the yankees. He was a very important part of the sox title run which in 04 meant more to sox fans than any title the yankees have won has meant to that fanbase in your lifetime, he was 31 with a good 4 or 5 years in front of him and if i remember right was not as forthright during negotiations (probably the great scott boras was the problem here).

was i one of the Sox fans who hated it when Damon left? yes, i was a big fan of his but your comparison really lacks a basis. its really not even close to the same thing.

If ortiz went and signed with the Yankees in 2006 he would be public enemy number 1, if after this year he goes and signs with the Mariners (or a team in that category) for a couple million extra…nobody would care.

4 years 11 months ago

Exactly.

4 years 11 months ago

Other than Johnny Damon, who left the Sox for the Yankees (poor example, the fan base hated him because of the rivalry not because of what the Sox FO said about him)…who else was “thrashed” by the Sox FO when they left?

sherrilltradedooverexperience
4 years 11 months ago

Rog-uh, Manny, and I believe Pedro too.

4 years 11 months ago

Clemens was a different ownership group, different front office, different era.

Manny drove himself out of Boston…..he even recently (last week) took full responsibility for his actions.

Pedro left on fine terms. He even returned this year to throw out a first pitch, to a standing ovation. Treated like a God in Boston.

Pawsdeep
4 years 11 months ago

Don’t worry—we’ll take good care or him in detroit for the next five years…either him or napoli

j6takish
4 years 11 months ago

After what we have had to put up with in our catchers slot these last two years, Detroit will probably grossly overpay for V-mart….and I am completely 100% fine with that. Yeah he sucks at defense and throwing out runners, but Gerald Laird is the best in the league…..I’d much rather have the offense

soxin10
4 years 11 months ago

What is all this talk of a low ball offer? I thought the term low ball meant $$$ not years. How much money did the sox offer, is it in the post somewhere? And all the talk of disrespect. That is just absurd. Please offer me (and most anyone) millions and millions of dollars with a guaranteed contract where I do not even have to show up and still get paid, or play at half speed and still get paid, that’s disrespect?.

As for the two years, it is called negotiation, maybe a starting point where they end up at three or possibly three and an option. . Should the red sox start at 5 years 35 mill per year? would that show respect, or stupidity?

0bsessions
4 years 11 months ago

When Scott Boras tells a reporter that Varitek or Damon deserve four years at $15 million per, it’s called negotiating. When the Red Sox offer two years and an unspecified dollar amount to a catcher who almost everyone in the world is pretty certain is ticketed for a DH position, it’s called disrespect.

The_Porcupine
4 years 11 months ago

Maybe I’m in the minority, but isn’t V-Mart a bit overrated? Yes, he’ll hit you .290 or higher. But he’s not a big power hitter, never has been. And yes his production is indeed better than other catchers. But he’s been injury prone in recent years and is more of a complimentary player than the type of player who carries a team. Personally, I don’t want to be locked in on a long term contract for an injury prone, good producer, but not great catcher who is in his 30’s. It isn’t a good business. Furthermore, the Sox philosophy has shifted to be more defense and pitching oriented and V Mart has never been very good defensively. Being at a physically demanding position like catcher means his skills are likely to deteriorate faster, so you can’t assume he’d still be as valuable in 3 years. He might warrant a 3 year deal, with a lot of money. But it may not be a good business deal or a deal that fits the organizational philosophy.

$1742854
4 years 11 months ago

Sorry V-Mart, but you actually have to be able to catch/throw runners out in order to command a long-term contract to be a catcher. Tough one here for the Sox–what kind of years/salary to pay a slash-type fielder?

paulio_male_gigalo
4 years 11 months ago

V-Mart is not a great catcher defensively, but he’s an A+ hitter for the position. I think he knows that if he moves to 1st or DH he’ll only be considered above average valuewise.

4 years 11 months ago

It’s not like he’s a very good defensive 1B either. Decent DH, but Ortiz will be back next year at least.

theos_chief_of_staff
4 years 11 months ago

i think an A+ grade is overly generous for v-mart, even at the catcher position. i’d say something closer to B+ is more accurate, especially considering the production you’d be paying for in a new contract where he’ll be well past the wrong side of 30 years old. looking at just 2011, i’d project him as the #5 ranked offensive catcher going into the season, behind mauer, mccann, posey, and santana. by the end of the contract he might be considered fortunate to rank in the top 10. if you don’t get him for a short-term deal, he’s not worth it imo.

Potrzeba
4 years 11 months ago

Give him a 3yr deal! out of all of our free agents this year, we need him the worst.

theos_chief_of_staff
4 years 11 months ago

1) take the picks; 2) deal a tier 2 prospect for iannetta, and 3) platoon iannetta (27) and salty (25).

you’ll come away with:1) have depth and youth at the catching position with upside and better defense than what vmart brings to the table; 2) 2 valuable draft picks, and 3) more $ to spend on an impact player in free agency.

Wek
4 years 11 months ago

The only problem with your scenario is that every team knows the Red Sox have a hole in their catching position the size of a moon crater and will therefore will not settle for “tier 2″ prospects. Look at the Napoli trade. I’m sure or at least hope the Red Sox offered the Angels a decent player but the trade still failed.

theos_chief_of_staff
4 years 11 months ago

the angels were not serious about trading napoli when they put him on waivers. although, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him get dealt during the off season. napoli is awful from a defensive standpoint.

i disagree on the notion that teams will drive up their asking prices for their catchers in talks with the sox. it doesn’t really work like that. if a team feels that it can improve its position via a trade it will do it. the market of iannetta will be driven by the team’s internal needs and external supply and demand. olivo is locked in as the primary catcher for colorado, so iannetta should be expendable to address more pressing internal needs. esp when you consider both players are making salaries in the neighborhood of $2m. that’s probably too high for colorado’s liking on a backup catcher. colorado has their own “moon crater” aging at 1B w/ helton and giambi at 37 and 39 respectively. lars anderson is probably over-paying for iannetta, but something involving those two players might make sense.

David X
4 years 11 months ago

“lars anderson is probably over-paying for iannetta, but something involving those two players might make sense.”

This is wildly overvaluing a prospect who hasn’t done anything of note in two years.

theos_chief_of_staff
4 years 11 months ago

lars anderson for chris iannetta is “wildly overvaluing a prospect who hasn’t done anything of note in two years”? have you even looked at his nums or read any of his scouting reports before making this claim? the kid put up a whopping 1.086 OPS and was atop the eastern league before getting promoted to pawtucket this year. in his first taste of AAA action he posted a respectable .773 OPS. he’s just 22 has a great baseball frame and a discriminating eye at the plate.

iannetta, on the other hand is 5 years older than anderson and through 1,000+ ABs is a career .236 hitter and strikes out in 28% of his ABs. where exactly am i over- valuing anderson?

David X
4 years 11 months ago

“the kid put up a whopping 1.086 OPS and was atop the eastern league”

In 62 ABs.

“where exactly am i over- valuing anderson?”

I’ve read that Rizzo has probably passed him in the pecking order. But good luck with that.

Potrzeba
4 years 11 months ago

i’d offer him 2yrs-30mm(with option year) or 3yr-35mm(with a option year)

4 years 11 months ago

The Sox have used this “ambivalent” negotiating tactic in the past with their free agents. Pedro, Damon, Lowell, and Bay were all offered fewer years or less money initially. Sox will negotiate up but will not cross a value ceiling for that player. Only Lowell bit and that may have been partially due to all the love he got from the clubhouse and Sox fans in the WS victory euphoria.
With this tactic there is back-up plan. Pedro begat a run at Pavano and then Clement. They went hard after Crisp when Damon walked, and Cameron followed Bay. Maybe they think Saltalamacchia can give them 80% of Martinez, or they will pursue Napoli or Iannetta.

I don’t think the Sox will resign him.

johnsilver
4 years 11 months ago

Take a look at that list above and LT implications and see how smart it was letting each one go, granted the full effect of Bay waling has not shown up quite yet and add Kevin Millar to that list, plus maybe the retired Billy Mueller as well. Think they got the best use of all those guys? Even out of outfielder that should be a DH last few years Damon?

Not going to see Epstein give that many LT contracts out with poor vision. Look at LT results and Drew even fared better than all but maybe Damon all around.

Epstein will seek a 1 year patch, then hope that either Lavarnway, or Exposito is ready. Pretty smart option for a pretty weak defensive catcher in martinez.

0bsessions
4 years 11 months ago

Yeah, everyone brings up the “smear jobs” on guys like Pedro, Damon and Bay, but no one accounts for the fact that Damon and Low are really the only big name guys that Epstein has let walk in recent memory to amount to much better than replacement level for the life of their next contract.

Pedro had one great season then fell off a cliff.
Mueller retired.
Millar hasn’t topped a win above replacement level since departing.
Bay’s power seems to have disappeared (Yes, yes, CitiField blah blah blah, his road OPS was .680 this season).
Even Lowe was never more than league average when pitching outside of the absolute joke that was the 2005-2008 NL West.
Manny was busted for steroids less than a year after Theo shipped him out.
Nomar went thoroughly down the tubes.

Really, when you get down to it, the only big name free agent Epstein ever let go that he was definitively wrong on was Damon.

wolf9309
4 years 11 months ago

Wasn’t wrong on Damon… The sox needed a center fielder, not a left fielder, and Damon couldn’t hold up there over the length of the contract

4 years 11 months ago

Nomar isn’t a big name? I don’t care if the red sox won the world series after, the Sox FO, fans, and Theo lowball everyone

4 years 11 months ago

Nomar protested by sitting at the end of the bench, isolated from everyone. He refused to play. Was he quiet? Yes. But he was as big of a problem as Manny was.

My bad! Forgot about the Cubs. Even still, at least they got him half way there? 😛

0bsessions
4 years 11 months ago

They didn’t send him to the West Coast. Nomar was traded to the Cubs.

0bsessions
4 years 11 months ago

Read the post. I DID mention Nomar. He had exactly one decent season after being traded.

EarlyMorningBoxscore
4 years 11 months ago

Do not be surprised when the Sox let V-Mart and Beltre walk have second tier players and rookies playing all over the field and try to pitch their run prevention and pitching BS they tried to this year. They feel they can fill V-Mart’s void with a cheaper option and if he does not agree to their deal they will find that option. Same with Beltre when that comes up the Sox FO will try to tell us oh wait a couple years for such and such a player to come up. Meaning they could possibly end up 4th in the division next year with the Blue Jays being actually pretty good.

salavie
4 years 11 months ago

Vmart is the same age as Lackey, you saw what a long term contract cost us with that guy, do we really want to sign Vmart to another long term contract considering he is at the other side of thirty. He production will only go down with every year that passes. I say two or three years max or let him go.

tsc32
4 years 11 months ago

If Boston let’s V-Mart go, the Rangers need to pick him up. Or go after Buck at least. Our catchers are awful.

Hermie13
4 years 11 months ago

Bottom line here is the BoSox are lowballing Victor. Whether it’s right or wrong, we can debate but they are definitely lowballing him.

Personally I think they don’t want to re-sign him and prefer the picks. They’ll offer him a 2-year deal, which is a slap in the face but they can at least say they made an “effort” to get him back.

And just one more thing for the road….Victor’s UZR is only -1.5 at 1B in his career. Yes, he’s below average but compared to most 1Bs, he handles himself fine there. He doesn’t need to move to DH. In the end may be the best spot, but he’s not to that point yet and likely won’t be for 3-4 more years.

4 years 11 months ago

UZR is terrible for 1B. For instance, Teixeira has a UZR of -5.7.

Hermie13
4 years 11 months ago

UZR is terrible for a single season at 1B. However, when used over a career, it’s still a good stat for a 1B. I was using Victor’s career number (for reference, Teix’s career UZR is closer to +5). His number this year is 6.5. I know he’s not that good. My point is over the course of his career he’s been only slightly below average, not terrible like some are making him out to be.

4 years 11 months ago

Fair enough!

RedbirdRuffian
4 years 11 months ago

VMart is a dh or 1b, he is no longer a viable option as a catcher on a team that considers itself a serious contender. Of course he has value as a hitter but what does a guy who hits 280 with 15-20 homeruns cost? $10 million a year maybe, but there will be other options out there that can do what Vmart does, so the Sox are smart to let him hit the open market and see what options they both have. As for the catching situation, they have Salty, Varitek and are smart enough to find someone that can play defense and hit 250…

4 years 11 months ago

And here comes the lowballing and Red Sox crazed-media. It’s a crying shame to see players try and tussle with the Sox Front Office, and get treated like he isn’t important, and go to another team. Frankly, I think this is lowballing Victor, the Red Sox haven’t had much Catcher production in the last couple of years and aren’t about to get more since they don’t have any legit catching prospects, and considering the catching market is pretty weak. V-Mart should at least get a 3 year deal with an incentive laden, or an option for a fourth.