fb-pixel Skip to main content
On Baseball

J.D. Martinez, surprised to still be with the team, sorts through results of Red Sox’ trades

J.D.Martinez was sorry to see catcher Christian Vázquez leave, but is ready to welcome first baseman Eric Hosmer, an offseason neighbor, to the team.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

HOUSTON — When president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom joined the Red Sox here on Wednesday morning, it felt a little like the director of FEMA showing up to assess the damage in a small town after a tornado.

Bloom traded catcher Christian Vázquez to the Astros on Monday, shipped reliever Jake Diekman to the White Sox and obtained left fielder Tommy Pham from the Reds.

Then the Sox twisted in another direction on Tuesday and obtained veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer from the Padres.

It has been an unsettling time for the players and coaches. The Sox traded their starting catcher for prospects and decided not to improve their bullpen or rotation but insist they’re still competing for a playoff berth.

Advertisement



Several seemingly obvious trade candidates remain on the roster. J.D. Martinez was sure he was gone, as were several other veterans.

To his surprise, J.D. Martinez wasn't traded away at the deadline.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

“To be honest I didn’t think I was going to be here,” Martinez said. “Once Christian went, I thought it was a matter of time. I think everybody felt that way.

“I was very confused about it, whether we were buying or selling or what we were doing. It was a whirlwind.”

To his credit, Bloom showed up at Minute Maid Park to explain his strategy in person. He’ll stay with the team and travel to Kansas City and will address the team as a group before the game on Thursday night.

“I talked to [Bloom] for a bit,” Martinez said after a 6-1 loss against the Astros. “It was good. I wish we had kept Christian and got those other guys. We have a different look so we’ll see what happens. You never know.”

Bloom also spoke briefly with Xander Bogaerts, who on Tuesday was sparing in his comments about the direction of the team because he wanted to avoid saying something he would later regret.

Advertisement



“We haven’t had an in-depth conversation yet. He was doing his routine getting ready [for the game]. But we will,” Bloom said. “I saw some of the things that he said and even independent of that, he’s the first guy I want to talk to in this clubhouse.”

Bogaerts has the right to opt out of his contract after the season and almost certainly will unless the Sox sign him to an extension commensurate with his value on the open market.

Trading Vázquez didn’t help that cause. But any rift can be mended, especially if the Sox play well over the final two months.

“I’d rather talk to him first,” Bloom said. “I don’t want to read anything into a comment made in the heat of the moment when things are really raw without having a conversation.”

There won’t be much time to reflect. Wednesday’s ugly loss aside, the Sox took two of three on the road against an Astros team with the second-best record in the American League. Now it’s off to Kansas City for four games.

Hosmer will be in the lineup Thursday, manager Alex Cora said.

Martinez knows Hosmer well. Both spend the offseason in the Miami area and Martinez sometimes works out at Hosmer’s batting cage, which is apparently quite elaborate.

“It’s pretty nasty,” Martinez said. “My cage is small.”

Wait a second, one of baseball’s hitting savants doesn’t have the best cage around?

“I prefer the water,” Martinez said. “I prefer to have a boat and a dock. You put a batting cage where I live and it’s a couple of million bucks just for the land.”

Advertisement



Martinez believes Hosmer will have a positive impact on the team.

New Red Sox first baseman Eric Hosmer has a fan in J.D. Martinez. "Fenway Park will be good for him," Martinez said.Duane Burleson/Getty

“Eric’s a good guy in the clubhouse. I know from playing against him he’s a clutch hitter. I don’t care what the numbers say. He’s a professional and he’ll put good at-bats together,” Martinez said.

“For sure, Fenway Park will be good for him. He’ll go the other way for doubles. He’ll be back in the AL. I feel good about it.”

Cora is eager to see Hosmer on the field, too. More than anything, he wants to leave the emotions of the last few days behind and get back to baseball.

“Obviously it hasn’t been easy. But it’s part of the business,” Cora said. “We’ve got four; we’ve got to be ready to play.”


Peter Abraham can be reached at peter.abraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.