Listen to J.D. Martinez's take on the trade deadline
In 2017, the designated hitter was part of one of the biggest deals of that season's deadline, going from the Tigers to the Diamondbacks. A year later, as a member of the Red Sox, he was on the receiving side of things, with his club securing the services of Steve Pearce and Nathan Eovaldi for their championship run.
"You saw how big Nate was. It was best trade we ever made," Martinez said while appearing on the Bradfo Sho podcast. "There’s no other way to put it. … There are things out there, you just have to get them."
So, now it would appear as though the ball was in the Red Sox’ court once again.
Except, these weeks leading into the Aug. 2 deadline present a unique challenge for Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom considering where the Red Sox are in the standings and how many key players are in the final years of their contract.
Heading into Tuesday night's game against the Rays, the Red Sox are atop the Wild Card standings, 1/2-game in front of Tampa Bay. In other words, they are firmly in the postseason hunt.
But if Bloom is to go for it and disregard the potential of losing a significant list of players in the offseason, than he will be forced to replenish his roster without the help of trades involving the expiring-contract players, of which Martinez is one.
Martinez concurs. "Very weird."
"Obviously you think about it as a player. Me Bogey (Xander Bogaerts), Christian (Vazquez), Nate (Eovaldi), some guys … You can keep going. Guys that are impact players. At the same time it puts these guys in a tough spot too. They go and they get nothing back for them …
"I think either way is a win-win for us. That’s how I view it. Xander is a little different because he has a lot of roots here and it’s probably more emotional for him. He came up through this organization. Christian did, too. For me, this is the fourth team I’ve been on and if you get traded that means you’re going to be on a contending team, and if you don’t get traded that means you are on a contending team. It’ a win-win."
Making the decisions even more difficult is the fact that virtually all the players on the list are serving as key participants on this team.
Bogaerts is an All-Star. Martinez is hitting .313 with an .880 OPS. Eovaldi, while currently sidelined, is perceived as the team's No. 1 starter. Vazquez is having perhaps his best all-around season. And Michael Wacha, Rich Hill and Matt Strahm have been key parts of the pitching staff.
"I think you have a lot of mature players here," the designated hitter added. "That’s what I always preach, I don’t know how to say this so it doesn’t come off wrong … the only way to stay sane through this is to focus on yourself and focus on what I have to do, and who am I facing and not what is going to happen. Why are you going to focus on things you can’t control? I think we have veteran guys who can do that. Christian is having a great year and he’s a free agent year. Bogey is having a good year and he’s a free agent year. Nate was having a good year until he got hurt. You have a lot of guys here who are professional when it comes to that, so they’re able to put it to the side."
But the reality is that this group's priority is keeping the team intact, while potentially give it the kind of push the likes of Kyle Schwarber offered a season ago.
"One hundred percent," said Martinez when asked if keeping this current club together for a run is the preferred path.
"At the end of the day we can’t control what they do. That’s how you stay sane through it. If I start thinking through that and I have to worry about the pitcher, I will go crazy. I try and keep my mind on one thing that I can control and that’s who I have to face today. That’s what I think about, who I have to face today.
"We have a really good team and that’s with all the injuries that we have had. … When the last time Nate pitched. Our horses. And they’re about to come back. … Obviously, if you’re going to be in it and your’e going to stay you want the organization to go out and help your guys out."
Soon we will see if Martinez and Co. will get their wish.
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