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Mets Predicted to Sign 3-Time Silver Slugger Winner to Bolster Lineup

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The New York Mets have made several roster additions during David Stearns’ first offseason as president of baseball operations.

 

One notable move he hasn’t yet made is acquiring a veteran bat to protect first baseman Pete Alonso. Could right-handed slugger J.D. Martinez be a fit?

 

With so many MLB free agents still in need of a new home for 2024, Bleacher Report’s Joel Reuter gave updated predictions on where they’d land on February 2.

 

Martinez is among the top veteran bats still available, and Reuter predicted that the three-time Silver Slugger Award winner will head to Queens.

 

He’s not the only one thinking New York should further bolster its lineup.

 

The New York Post’s Jon Heyman said on January 31 that the Mets “owe it to” Alonso to sign one of the remaining sluggers on the open market.

 

He specifically singled out Martinez and Jorge Soler in this instance.

 

 

The likelihood of the Mets signing a player like Martinez or Soler will only happen if their prices drop, per SNY’s Andy Martino.

 

The internal candidate in line to get a significant portion of at-bats as the designed hitter is Mark Vientos.

 

 

J.D. Martinez Enjoyed a Resurgence at the Plate in 2023

Martinez spent five years with the Boston Red Sox. For the most part, they were quite productive for the right-handed hitter.

 

He slugged 43 home runs with 130 RBI in 2018 and followed that up with another 36 homers with 105 RBI in 2019.

Following the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, he was back to his typical production, slugging 28 homers with 99 RBI for the Sox in 2021.

 

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The slugger struggled to find his typical power in 2022. During his age-34 campaign, Martinez played 139 games, racking up 596 plate appearances.

 

He collected just 16 homers with 62 RBI during that time. The .790 OPS he produced was his lowest in a 162-game season since 2013 (.650 OPS with the Detroit Tigers).

 

 

He signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2023 and rediscovered his groove at the plate.

 

In just 479 plate appearances, Martinez hit .271/.321/.572 with 33 homers and 103 RBI. It was the fifth time he surpassed the 30-homer plateau in his career.

 

MLB Trade Rumors predicted on November 6 that he’d land a two-year, $40 million contract in free agency this winter.

 

But since spring training is about to start, it’s undetermined as to whether he’ll find a multi-year deal to sign.

 

 

He’d Bring More Than Just Power to the Lineup

Adding Martinez to the Mets’ lineup would be a worthwhile move for multiple reasons.

 

Alonso is the centerpiece of New York’s offense as a perennial threat to hit 40 home runs.

 

The only other player to hit at least 30 dingers in Flushing during 2023 was shortstop Francisco Lindor (he hit 31).

 

However, Lindor primarily hit ahead of Alonso in the lineup. He hit second in 68 games and was penciled into the three-hole for another 69 games.

 

Having a proven power bat behind Alonso would hypothetically force opposing hurlers to give him more pitches to hit.

 

That would be a benefit to on-field results, but Martinez could provide a lot of value in the clubhouse, as well.

 

He’s about to enter his 14th MLB season. Having another veteran for young players like Vientos, catcher Francisco Alvarez and third baseman Brett Baty to chat with wouldn’t be a bad thing.

 

Martinez also brings a lot of postseason experience. He’s suited up for 33 playoff games and won the 2018 World Series with the Red Sox.

 

There’s no doubt that Martinez would give the Mets a boost in multiple ways, but it doesn’t seem likely to happen unless it’s on their terms.

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