The Dodgers do it again… bringing in the No. 1 hitter for just $10 million.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were extremely reluctant to spend heading into the season. They didn’t show much interest in free agency, and they didn’t go out and buy a big name player. It was a blatant move to reset the franchise.
It was also widely believed that the move was made with Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels) in mind, who will be a free agent after this season. However, the Dodgers needed a player to provide balance on the right side, and after being linked to several right-handed options, they settled on one. J.D. Martinez, 36.
Martinez has a solid track record in the league. Since making his major league debut with Houston in 2011, Martinez has hit .292 with 130 home runs, 423 RBI, and an OPS of 0.874 in 1,460 big league games. He has played for Houston, Detroit, Arizona, and Boston, and has been a key part of each team in his own right.
However, his power has clearly declined since last year. In 139 games with Boston last year, he batted just .274 with 16 home runs. His on-base percentage of .448 was well below his career average (.523). His batting average plummeted. By all accounts, Martinez was in his mid-30s, and it was only going to get worse.
Martinez’s average batted ball speed dropped to 89.1 mph last year, which isn’t that far off the league average. His hard-hit rate was also poor, at 41.7%. On top of that, Martinez was more of a typical designated hitter with little defensive value. He wasn’t going to be popular on the market.토토사이트
But the Dodgers thought differently. They thought Martinez could still hit the ball well, and they thought he could return to the form of two years ago, so they offered him a one-year, short-term deal. Luckily for Martinez, the National League had just introduced the designated hitter system, and he signed a one-year, $10 million deal. The Dodgers didn’t have to pay much, and Martinez was able to rebuild his career.
The Dodgers were smart to sign Martinez for $10 million.
The Dodgers are hoping that Martinez can fill in for the year before the Ohtani signing.
The Dodgers, who acquired Albert Pujols for the lowest salary in the majors two years ago, had few preconceived notions about the veteran right-hander, and they were proven right. In 51 games this year, Martinez is batting just .265, but he has 16 home runs and a .610 OPS. That .610 OPS leads the National League. It’s a spectacular resurgence.
Martinez has upped his average bat speed to 92.8 mph this year, which is virtually the highest it can be for a hitter in his mid-30s. His hard-hit rate is 53.9%, which is a career high and actually better than his prime. He still strikes out a lot and walks a lot, but the veteran’s game is alive and well. His ability to handle the changeup, which was an issue last year, has improved, and he is pulling it more to generate hard contact.
Martinez, who was once worth more than $20 million, was acquired for $10 million and is making good use of it. There’s no pressure. They can re-sign him after this season to see how things are going, or they can let him go if his asking price increases. In fact, if the Dodgers go through with their plan to acquire Ohtani, Martinez will likely leave the Dodgers with a year of good memories. After last year’s Freddie Freeman, the Dodgers are proving to be good at free agency.