Could the Red Sox land both Eric Hosmer and J.D. Martinez?
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Dave Dombrowski doesn’t have an ounce of panic in his body, so the Yankees can have their moment in the Florida sun today when the Giancarlo Stanton deal is announced officially.
If Dombrowski has to wait beyond these meetings to acquire the big bat that fits best in the middle of the Red Sox order, so be it, because Scott Boras isn’t rushing anything either, even though he’d love to place both Eric Hosmer and J.D. Martinez with Boston. That’s right, both.
Asked whether he might get something done at the Winter Meetings, Boras told this reporter late last week, “I tend to be methodical.”
That doesn’t mean Hosmer or Martinez can’t be Red Sox before these meetings end Thursday, but judging by his pattern of not only establishing a market but expanding one, it appears that Boras will work out the best deal for each of his clients. Hosmer, Martinez, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Jake Arrieta, and Greg Holland are the big ones.
The Red Sox and Boras have already engaged in talks concerning both Hosmer and Martinez, but they’re likely to continue at the meetings now that the situation has changed with the Yankees acquiring Stanton. Boras also likes to discuss his big-ticket items directly with ownership.
It’s probably unrealistic to think the Red Sox could sign both, though Boras has a point that they will be looking for a first baseman once Hanley Ramirez’s deal mercifully ends after this season (unless he reaches a $22 million vesting option for 2019 with 497 plate appearances). There are no significant first base free agents next offseason.
There’s no doubt the Red Sox need two things: leadership and a slugger.
Hosmer provides the leadership.
“That’s what we’ll miss just as much as the performance,” said a Kansas City executive. “He has the ability to bring people together. He’ll fight for his teammates. You couldn’t ask for a better role model on a team.
“He was definitely the leader of our team and he was so instrumental in us winning the World Series.”
An analytical study done internally by the Royals in 2014 pegged Hosmer as a 40-homer hitter at Fenway.
“Lot of balls hit to the left field wall at [Kauffman Stadium] would have been out at Fenway,” said the Royals executive.
Martinez doesn’t have the leadership component, but he’s devoted to his profession.
Ask Diamondbacks hitting coach Dave Magadan, manager Torey Lovullo, or general manager Mike Hazen about Martinez’s work ethic and his constant striving to be better.
“He sets a great example for everybody else,” Magadan said.
Four years ago, Dombrowski picked up Martinez on waivers for Detroit after he was released by the Astros. And now he may be paying him up to $30 million per season.