Is it worth the Detroit Tigers considering signing J.D. Martinez?
It's not often that you open an article with a Tweet or embed something, but when I think of J.D. Martinez, I immediately go back to August 2016, to this moment. The tweet above lays it all out there, but it truly was magical when Martinez stepped to the plate and belted this solo shot to give the Detroit Tigers the lead.
It was tough to see the Detroit Tigers part ways with Martinez. The move was "understandable" and not the biggest shock as it was known for a while it was going to happen, but things just continued to get worse from that point on. But that home run back in 2016 was really something special; it sure would be something to have him back in the Motor City.
Martinez was one of the Tigers' best hitters during his tenure. He went on to play in Arizona after being traded to the Diamondbacks but settled in Boston. He even captured a well-deserved World Series ring with the team in 2018.
Now 35 years old, Martinez is a free agent after five seasons with the Red Sox. The free agent market continues to dwindle, and the Tigers still have needs to fill. Now, suggesting a 35-year-old to be one of the Tigers free agent targets may not please some, but hey, I suggested Justin Turner as a possible target in a free agent profile, so why not?
Martinez is due for a payday; it will not be cheap. The five-time all-star and three-time Silver Slugger awards will still take home a decent amount, even at 35. The Tigers should consider it. His days of patrolling the outfield have nearly become extinct, but if he can be talked into it, it's another right-handed bat for the outfield. Which is something Harris said the team was looking for.
He's coming off the 2022 season, where he slashed .274/.341/.448 with 43 doubles and 16 home runs for 62 RBI over 596 plate appearances. While every appearance was as a designated hitter rather than an outfielder, who's to say he cannot be sweet-talked?
I understand it's very impractical. But the Tigers continue to avoid signing players to fill needs. Other teams continue to pilfer the market and make additions as needed. Martinez would be fun, if nothing else.
The financials are likely impractical. The fact that he has not played outfield is impractical. But the Tigers have not done much; why not give the fans something to be excited about with a familiar face? Or they can just replace some more lights.