Free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez will sign with the Red Sox, according to multiple reports Monday.
The prize of a strange, slowly-developing offseason, Martinez has long been tied to Boston in reports, with sources around the big leagues expecting him to land there or remain in Arizona, where he was traded last year.
A source told Pedro Gomez of ESPN that Martinez, 30, had agreed to a 5-year deal with the Red Sox, but could opt out after two seasons. Jon Heyman of FanRag reports that he will earn $50 million in those first two seasons, and will have two chances to opt out. The team, Heyman says, guaranteed a total of $110 million over the life of the contract.
The slugger hit 45 home runs last year between Detroit and the Diamondbacks, batting .303/.376/.690 with a 1.066 OPS. He began his career with the Houston Astros, where he never got it together at the major league level before his 2014 release.
After signing with the Tigers, though, he developed into a tremendous hitter, making his first All-Star appearance in 2015.
In parts of three years with the Astros, Martinez batted just .251/.300/.387 for a .687 OPS with a total of 24 homers. But in the four seasons since he left Houston, Martinez homered 128 times, the 10th highest tally in baseball. His .574 slugging average in that stretch was second only to Mike Trout's.
The Tigers traded him to Arizona before last year's deadline. He was even more effective there than in Detroit, smashing 29 homers in just 62 games.
A bat like Martinez's adds much-needed power to a Red Sox lineup that, following David Ortiz's retirement, finished 27th in the majors in home runs last season. The rival Yankees, who led baseball in homers, added a new star of their own when they acquired outfield slugger Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins.