Does old Dodgers-Red Sox trade rumor bode well for JD Martinez's future in LA?

JD Martinez is going to be a free agent and a return to the Dodgers is possible.
Division Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Two
Division Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Two / Harry How/GettyImages

It likely all depends on the Los Angeles Dodgers' pursuit of Shohei Ohtani, but there's definitely a mutual interest (in some regard) for a reunion with JD Martinez. The veteran slugger signed a one-year contract last offseason and will be a free agent in a few weeks.

The only problem is he's a full-time DH, and that will be Ohtani's role should he sign with LA (especially in 2024 when he won't be able to pitch). Therefore, both Ohtani and Martinez don't make much sense in the Dodgers' equation for next season.

That said, the Dodgers have set themselves up nicely. Ohtani is far from a guarantee because of his high-profile free agency case that's expected to feature other big-market suitors. The good news on that front, though, is that they may be the most fitting destination for the two-way star.

But if not, the Dodgers have established a healthy relationship with Martinez. They reunited him with the hitting coach that helped him turn his career around. They opened up a spot for him by letting Justin Turner go and fulfilled his desire to play for a contender once again (since his final years with the Red Sox were rather disheartening).

There's more, though, at least based on a bit of information that got out last week. Per Rob Bradford of WEEI, the Dodgers had interested in trading for Martinez at the 2022 deadline, but the Red Sox asked for closer Evan Phillips in return. LA said no and moved on. They signed Martinez a few months later. The Red Sox fired general manager Chaim Bloom a little over a year later.

Does old Dodgers-Red Sox trade rumor bode well for JD Martinez's future in LA?

Can't blame the Dodgers for not making that deal. They already had a high-powered offense and it was an objectively better return for the Sox, who would've gotten a controllable closer for years to come. Nonetheless, the interest in Martinez predates last offseason which could mean they'd be open to re-signing him if the pieces fall into place (and after watching him successfully handle the job in his first year with the Dodgers).

"According to a source, the Red Sox were very close to dealing J.D. Martinez to the Dodgers heading into the 2022 Trade Deadline. But in the final moments, the Sox asked for an additional arm: Evan Phillips. That ended that."

Rob Bradford, WEEI

Martinez hit .271 with an .893 OPS, 134 OPS+, 33 homers and 103 RBI with the Dodgers -- who boasted the second best offense in the league -- in 2023. Year over year, he witnessed incredible improvement at the plate after his final, mediocre season in Boston.

The Dodgers choking out of the playoffs yet again didn't exactly make a good impression on Martinez, but if they can add assets (in this situation, other than Ohtani) and have the chance to keep Martinez, this squad will (hopefully) be out for blood in 2024 with how the last two Octobers unfolded for them.

Scott Boras will likely be looking to get Martinez paid, but the veteran already took a discount to play here. Maybe for the sake of comfortability and consistent contention, he'll do it again if the Dodgers keep the offseason dialogue consistent and candid.