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J.D. Martinez proving to be worth every penny

J.D. Martinez’s message is loud and clear, backed up by home runs, exit velocity and launch angle: He was worth the money.

Martinez entered last offseason as one of the top free agents after a four-season run as one of the game’s top hitters and coming off a monster 2017 campaign with the Tigers and Diamondbacks in which he hit 45 home runs and slugged .690 in 119 games.

He remained unsigned through the winter meetings and through January and into February. Finally, after spring training had already started, cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal Martinez landed in Boston where everyone had predicted, giving the Red Sox the power bat they needed after finishing last in the American League in home runs in 2017. He signed a five-year, $110 million contract on Feb. 26, and while it took him seven games before he hit his first home run, he hasn’t stopped mashing since.74

Martinez went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a massive home run to dead center field, five RBIs and a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh inning as the Red Sox rallied from a five-run deficit to bury the Mariners in a wild 14-10 victory at Fenway Park on Friday. He’s hitting .324/.393/.644, tied Mike Trout for the MLB lead with 23 home runs, took over the MLB lead with 60 RBIs, and ranks third in the majors in slugging percentage and OPS, trailing only Trout and teammate Mookie Betts in both categories.

He is, in other words, the same fearsome slugger who tore apart pitchers in 2017 and yet had trouble finding a job, at least at the right price. Martinez recently expressed his displeasure to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Cwik over what transpired in free agency. “It was a joke,” he said about the ugly aspects of the business side of baseball. “Once you start getting into the dollars and you start talking about that, then you start seeing teams come out and say how they really feel about you.”nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Martinez was entering his age-30 season. Too risky for a long-term, nine-figure contract suggested some critics, pointing to some of the free-agent busts in recent years who signed deals that took them into their mid-30s. The market also hasn’t been kind to corner outfielders and first base/DH types in recent years and some teams might have felt Martinez was limited to a DH role — if not now, then certainly within a couple of years.

The Red Sox, with an opening at DH, were the obvious fit. With Martinez and Betts leading the way, they’ve improved from 4.85 runs per game, sixth in the AL, to 5.16 per game, second in the majors to the Yankees’ 5.23 — all while the AL average per game has dipped from 4.71 to 4.4