Is the clock ticking down on J.D. Martinez's Red Sox career?
The slugger has until 11:59 p.m. Monday night to decide whether to opt out of the remaining three years and $62.5 million on his Red Sox contract. If he decides to exercise his player option and remain in Boston, he'll make $23.75 million for the 2020 season.
Martinez's decision will have a huge ripple effect on the rest of the Red Sox offseason - as John Tomase detailed here. Whether or not Martinez remains could seal Mookie Betts' fate with the Sox right fielder entering his final arbitration-eligible season before hitting the free agent market. And losing a hitter of Martinez's caliber would create a giant hole in the middle of the Sox lineup.
For Boston's new Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom, Martinez's situation is the first domino in what promises to be a very interesting offseason. And on Monday morning when Bloom appeared on MLB Network, he didn't tip his hand as to what Martinez might decide.
"He's one of the premier hitters in the game," Bloom told Ken Rosenthal. "For good reason, his contract gives him the ability to take control of it if he wants, and he's got a decision to make. We will certainly respect whatever decision he makes. We don't look at it as any kind of a personal thing. I think he has the right to do what he thinks is best for himself.
"I think we're pretty fortunate to have him in our uniform, and we're still going to feel the same way about him regardless of what decision he decides to make."
Until that decision becomes public, Red Sox Nation is stuck in a holding pattern.
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