A “medical matter” has prevented the Red Sox from finalizing the five-year, $110MM agreement they reached with free agent J.D. Martinez on Monday. Former big leaguer J.D. Drew can relate, having agreed to a five-year, $70MM deal with the BoSox in 2007 that took seven weeks to become official because they had concerns with his right shoulder. Drew – who, like Martinez, had agent Scott Boras as representation – looked back on the experience with Rob Bradford of WEEI. “My first words were, ’There’s nothing wrong with my shoulder.’ I was like you can put whatever you want in there,” Drew recalled. “But [Boras] said, ’I have to protect you.’ From that point on I gave him complete freedom to do whatever he needed to do.” Eleven years later, Drew remains a believer in Boras’ tactics, and he expects the agent’s expertise to benefit Martinez. “I guarantee Scott and J.D. are on a page where they know what’s happening, he’s completely assured by Scott that they know what they have to do,” he said. “He’s going to fight, he’s going to fight, he’s going to fight and get the best he can and make sure it’s fine with him.”
More from Boston and a couple other East Coast cities:
- Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a fractured left fibula and a potential ankle injury during the team’s game Saturday, per Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. It’s obviously an awful development for Middlebrooks, who joined the Phillies on a minors deal in January in hopes of earning a major league roster spot. Although Middlebrooks is likely to need surgery, he’s optimistic he’ll be able to play this season. Still, the 29-year-old admitted Sunday that he’s somewhat concerned about his future in baseball. “The game is getting younger every day,” Middlebrooks noted. “I’ll be 30 this year. Unfortunately, that’s not prime anymore. You look in this clubhouse and everybody is 23, 24 years old. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t cross my mind. But the small window of time I’ve spent here with this staff and training staff, I think I’ll be just fine. If it takes two months, if it takes four or five months, I don’t know how long it’s going to take yet. I’m not counting myself out. I plan on playing this year.”
- The Red Sox expect to begin the year without either left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez or righty Steven Wright, manager Alex Cora told reporters, including Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com, on Sunday (Twitter link). Rodriguez is working back from the right knee surgery he underwent in October, and Wright had a season-ending procedure on his left knee last May. With those two on the shelf, the Red Sox will choose among Hector Velazquez, Roenis Elias and the out-of-options Brian Johnson to serve as their season-opening fifth starter.
- As of December, the league office was investigating Wright in the wake of a domestic incident that occurred early in the winter. However, MLB officials still haven’t interviewed Wright, Sean McAdam of BostonSportsJournal.com tweets.
- Mets first baseman Dominic Smith suffered a strained quad and will undergo an MRI on Monday, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com writes. Smith isn’t worried, though, as he said Sunday “there’s no real concern” that it’s a major problem (Twitter link via DiComo). Meanwhile, outfielder Jay Bruce downplayed the plantar fasciitis in his left foot, calling it a “non-issue” (via David Lennon of Newsday, on Twitter).