The Los Angeles Dodgers will turn the keys over to rookies at multiple positions next season, but on Saturday night, they locked up the services of an experienced DH for what could be his final chapter.
Former Boston Red Sox slugger JD Martinez, coming off a successful five-year deal in Beantown in his prime (though he trended down after an exemplary 2018 with 43 bombs and 130 RBI), has reportedly finalized a one-year deal with the Dodgers totaling $10 million.
Martinez makes perfect sense for a lineup seeking both punch and playoff pedigree, as silly as that sounds for a Dodgers team that's run the NL West for a decade and counting. Next year's Dodgers team will be lacking Trea Turner and Cody Bellinger, however, at the very least; Justin Turner's fate is still undetermined.
Therefore, pressure will be heaped upon the likes of Gavin Lux, James Outman and Miguel Vargas, leaving the 35-year-old Martinez in a leadership position.
Los Angeles Dodgers sign former Boston Red Sox slugger JD Martinez
Now, Martinez and Robert Von Scoyoc can collaborate once more, after the hitting guru helped save the slugger's career, as chronicled well by Jared Diamond in "Swing Kings".
Oh, and Mookie Betts is here, too, someone else Martinez might remember from his recent past. Hope there's no resulting frostiness from the deal that took Betts out of Boston and shipped him to Hollywood.
The Dodgers are still clearly a full go for 2023-24 and their pursuit of Shohei Ohtani; Martinez won't disrupt that whatsoever. He also won't be playing the field much, and will probably be penciled in as a DH daily.
One big year in Los Angeles will get him a shot at another two-or-three-year pact to finish out his career, though, and he's picked the right stage to try to bounce back (with the right instructor in place).