RED SOX NOTEBOOK
ross d. franklin/AP file
FORT MYERS, Fla. — It would take J.D. Martinez about 2½ hours to drive from his home in Miami to JetBlue Park and join the Red Sox for spring training.
There are plenty of empty lockers in the clubhouse and his No. 28 hasn’t been given out since the Sox released lefthanded reliever Robbie Ross Jr. last fall.
But Wednesday passed without any news on the free agent slugger, the Red Sox continuing their staredown with agent Scott Boras.
The Red Sox still have a five-year, $125 million offer on the table and offered no reaction to a report by The Athletic that Martinez has become irritated by the process and is willing to sit out into spring training or sign with another club.
Boras said that a “good-faith negotiation” continues with the Red Sox, and he disputed that report.
“J.D. has never made any statement regarding the Red Sox,” said Boras. “Reported quotes are inaccurate. A good-faith negotiation continues.
“J.D. is involved in multiple negotiations and is pleased with the participants and the good-faith process. Suggestions otherwise are not accurate.”
The Sox have made it clear they view Martinez as a fit. But president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and his staff also are discussing whether to improve other aspects of the team given the number of free agents still unsigned.
The bear market could result in some bargains. Players who otherwise would have commanded multiyear deals may soon feel compelled to sign for one season.
Logan Morrison, Lucas Duda, and Matt Holliday are available and fit the profile of designated hitters. The Sox also remain interested in a reunion with infielder Eduardo Nunez. He would give the Sox further depth at second base as Dustin Pedroia recovers from knee surgery.
The Sox could use money earmarked for Martinez to improve their bullpen or even their rotation.
USA Today reported that the Red Sox also considered trading for a power hitter. One proposal discussed was sending Jackie Bradley Jr. to Cleveland for Edwin Encarnacion.
The Red Sox passed on trying to sign Encarnacion last winter. The 35-year-old has two years and $40 million remaining on his contract with a $20 million team option for 2020.
Bradley, 27, has three years remaining before becoming a free agent. Bradley has a 10.4 WAR the last three seasons, Encarnacion 11.2.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora was at JetBlue Park Wednesday, a temporary stop on his way to Miami. He will be attending a dinner at the University of Miami Friday that will honor his college coach, Jim Morris . . . Righthanded reliever Carson Smith was among the newcomers to camp. About 20 players off the 40-man roster already have arrived . . . Chris Sale played long toss and went through a series of exhausting sprints with some minor leaguers. The lefthander has changed apparel companies and will now wear Adidas cleats, sneakers, and clothing. Sale will stick with Mizuno gloves . . . The vaunted Red Sox equipment truck is expected to arrive Thursday.
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