Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Victor Martinez Becomes a Tiger

Earlier today Victor Martinez agreed to a 4 year, $50 million deal with the Detroit Tigers, leaving the Red Sox after a season and a half in Boston.  He will most likely platoon at catcher with 23 year-old Alex Avila and serve as the DH when he isn't behind the plate.  Last season for Boston Martinez played 127 games, hitting .302 with 20 homers, 32 doubles and 79 RBI.  Throughout his career, he has been one of the best offensive backstops in the game.  However, any team with Martinez behind the plate loses a lot defensively, as he barely throws out any runners on the basepaths.

So are the Red Sox missing out, or did GM Theo Epstein make a good decision by letting Victor walk?  4 years, $50 million dollars is a lot for a 32 year-old catcher who isn't very good defensively.  However, losing Victor's offense could do some damage to the Red Sox lineup.  Right now, the catcher that would be penciled into the Sox Opening Day lineup is Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who in four seasons has just over 800 at-bats and a career average of .248.  Not exactly up to Victor Martinez standards.  However, if Theo can resign Adrian Beltre to play third base (2010: .321 avg., 28 HR, 49 2B, .553 SLG) and can sign someone like Jayson Werth or Carl Crawford, fans might not have as many questions about letting Victor walk.  Also, because Martinez is a Type A free agent, the Red Sox receive the Tigers 19th overall pick in next year's draft.  This could end up being a very good development for the Red Sox, but they need to sign someone to take Martinez's place in the middle of the lineup.

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