11-23-2010: Martinez signs with Detroit
November 23, 2010 1 Comment
There are widespread reports today that the Detroit Tigers are ready to sign Victor Martinez to a 4-year, $50M contract. The annual value of the deal is $12.5M, and ranks as one of the largest free agent contracts for a catcher in baseball history. Reportedly, he had competitive offers on the table from the Orioles and the White Sox, while the Red Sox maxed out their offer at 4 years and $42M. Peter Gammons was right again.
Let’s get something straight – the Red Sox weren’t outbid; they passed. Epstein could have easily matched the Tigers’ offer, but he just didn’t want Martinez as our catcher for the next four years. The Tigers are willing to live with Martinez’ defense. A very tough stance for Theo to take in this town, but kudos to him. Let’s see what happens over the next 4 seasons, and don’t forget the two compensation picks we’ll get as a result of this signing.
Left with wild card Jarrod Saltalamacchia and precious little else that’s MLB roster-worthy, the Sox need to bring in a veteran catcher, and John Buck is already off the market. Dan Barbarisi is quick to point out that this could signal the return of Jason Varitek. Maybe, but I’m not sure I like this as plan A.
Sox Therapy suggests a move to obtain Mike Napoli from the Angels for someone like Ryan Kalish. Offensively, Napoli is more than adequate, but I’m not for this move because Nap is a notably worse catcher than Martinez is. And that’s saying something.
I’m with Marc Normandin, who wants to bring in a short-term vet like Yorvit Torrealba or Miguel Olivo. That seems like the best option at this point. We will make up for the lost offense elsewhere on the diamond, don’t you worry.