Insider Drops Huge Update on Mets’ Pursuit of 3-Time Silver Slugger Winner

j.d. martinez

Getty J.D. Martinez has seemed like a good fit for the Mets most of the offseason. Is New York finally seriously considering to sign him?

The New York Mets have made several changes to their roster ahead of the 2024 season. One area president of baseball operations David Stearns didn’t significantly change was the club’s situation at designated hitter. Could that change with veteran slugger J.D. Martinez still on the open market?

It’s possible, according to a March 12 report from the New York Post’s Jon Heyman. “The Mets are among teams talking to star free agent designated hitter J.D. Martinez, and word is the interest is mutual, sources tell The Post,” he said. “Mets owner Steve Cohen has apparently given the go-ahead to seriously discuss Martinez even though the Mets are over the fourth-tier, so-called ‘Steve Cohen tax,’ and they’d have to pay a 110 percent tax on any new deals.”

Martinez is coming off a one-year, $10 million deal in 2023 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After a tough 2022, he re-established himself as one of baseball’s better power bats. Martinez hit .271/.321/.572 with 33 home runs and 103 RBI in just 479 plate appearances.

MLB Trade Rumors predicted a two-year, $40 million deal for him on November 6. He’s probably more in line for a one-year deal at this point in the spring, too. Martinez rejected a one-year, $14 million offer from the San Francisco Giants earlier in the offseason.

This Would Be a Big Change in Strategy for the Mets

The Mets have been linked to Martinez at various times throughout the offseason. Heyman urged New York to sign either him or Jorge Soler because they “owe” first baseman Pete Alonso some lineup protection.

Will Sammon of The Athletic dropped a report on February 1 clearly stating how the Mets were viewing their DH situation. “Barring any unforeseen changes regarding the markets of the notable players left in free agency, league sources said the Mets seem intent on sticking with their in-house options at designated hitter,” he said. “While New York won’t be closing any doors on potential external options, prices would have to dramatically drop for the Mets to be aggressive pursuers for DH candidates such as Jorge Soler or J.D. Martinez.”

Sammon mentioned the three most likely Mets players to get a majority of DH at-bats as Starling Marte, DJ Stewart and Mark Vientos. Signing Martinez would likely impact Vientos the most. Stearns has gone on record stating how it’s important to give young players a chance to play at the big-league level. Bringing in a veteran slugger to be the regular DH would accomplish the opposite.

Who Else Is New York Competing With for Martinez?

While the Mets seem like a perfect fit for Martinez if they’d like to increase their postseason chances, they’re not the only team linked to the slugger. The Los Angeles Angels are another team that’s had interest. After all, they need to fill the $700 million hole Shohei Ohtani left when he signed with the Dodgers.

Heyman noted in his report that Martinez also likes the idea of staying on the West Coast and playing for the Angels. They likely have a bigger need to fill, which could give the Mets some leverage in potential negotiations. It’s doubtful that Stearns would get into a bidding war after employing a disciplined roster-building approach this winter. So, it remains to be seen how seriously the Mets will pursue Martinez to bolster their lineup.

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