Even $1 million won't lure J.D. Martinez to Home Run Derby


NEW YORK -- It was a nice try on behalf of Major League Baseball, but J.D. Martinez still isn't taking the bait.

The Red Sox slugger reaffirmed to WEEI.com Thursday at Yankee Stadium that despite MLB offering $1 million to the winner of this year's Home Run Derby he would still not be participating.

"I'm not. I don't think I would do it," he said. "I would have done it in 2015, but I wasn't good enough."

Even for $1 million?

"Nope," Martinez said. "It's not about the money."

Martinez has never participated in the event -- which paid $125,000 to last year's winner, Bryce Harper -- although he did ask MLB to jump in during the '15 contest. But despite totaling the third-most homers prior to that year's All-Star break the powers that be said thanks but no thanks.

After that, the contest wasn't perceived as an option for Martinez.

"I just don't want to do it. It's a lot of stress, man," he said. "You're hitting for two minutes straight, easy. Trying to hit the ball as far as you can. I remember seeing it the first time they did it when I wanted to do it and I said, 'Thank God I didn't do it.' It was just exhausting. Those guys were out there drenched.

"The All-Star Game in itself is stressful. There's so much going on. It's not even a break. You don't have time to relax. You have to be on. It's one of those things, along with that ... I'm sure if I was making a lot less I would think about it. To me, it's about the team and giving my body the rest that it needs."

Martinez heads into Friday with 11 home runs, having finished with the second-most homers (43) last season.