Dodgers Way Team Makes A Big Splash on the Hypothetical Trade Market
J.D. Martinez, Outfielder
I would like to note that the Dodgers aren’t in any dire need to make a big splash as we did in this hypothetical trade. At 20 games over .500, they are already looking like the team to beat out of the National League, and a big reason for that has been their white-hot offensive production.But let’s dive into J.D. Martinez and why he would help the club.
Martinez is a 29-year-old right fielder who’s contract is due to expire at the end of this season. Martinez is hitting .301/.393/.667 with 12 home runs and 27 RBI in only 36 games this season. Those stats translate to a 1.1 WAR in just a quarter of the season.
J.D. has been limited this season to only 36 games due to a sprained foot to start the season, but since he’s returned, he’s looked like his usual self in the games he’s played. Martinez brings a great deal of power upside from the right side of the plate to a Dodger lineup that is very lefty-heavy regarding power numbers.
The Dodgers right-handed hitters have hit 44 home runs compared to the 51 homers hit by left-handers. While those splits don’t look anything game changing, it’s worth noting that bench players have hit the majority of those right-handed home runs.
Yasiel Puig currently leads the Dodgers’ righties with 12 home runs and Chris Taylor is a close second with 9. Outside of those two everyday players, the rest of their everyday lineup has less than six from the right side of the plate. Adding a power bat like Martinez, who has hit 20+ home runs in his past three seasons brings balance to the middle of the order.
Slotting Martinez fifth in the order gives a nice left-right-left-right lineup turn around (2-5) could bring a big boost to the team RBI numbers. This also brings a power bat behind Bellinger to protect him who has already seen five intentional walks this season.
Martinez would move from right to left field and would allow Taylor to reassume his role as the everyday centerfield now with Pederson gone. Martinez has a WAR better than Pederson by a full point if you’re wondering what the drop off is. When comparing the two defensive play this season Martinez also ranks slightly better than Joc with a league average defensive runs saved rating.
Marinez has a high 55% hard hit rate this season and has a higher walk rate, slash rate, and wRC+ rating better than Joc (169 to 97). All signs show that statistically, Martinez will improve the Dodgers offense while not sacrificing much on defense.
Although he’s in a contract year, the Dodgers could also look to resign him to a long-term deal. At only 29-years-old the Dodgers could very well ink him to a four-year deal similar to one that they gave Turner this offseason and keep him in the lineup with Seager, Turner, and Bellinger. Martinez is making an $18.5m this season and could see a contract along the lines of 4-years $80m. But if he gives the Dodgers that extra boost to win the World Series, we think he’s worth it.