While the Hot Stove is a beautiful respite from the dreary world, it can be complicated sometimes. To help, we've created the Cespedes Family BBQ Free Agent Matrix to determine where this offseason's top free agents could end up.
We all know the J.D. Martinez story by now. After three disappointing years as a part-time player in Houston, he was released during Spring Training in 2014 and picked up by the Tigers on a minor league contract a few days later. A few swing adjustments and some hitting sessions with future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera later and voila! Martinez became one of the best hitters in baseball.
If you're still having trouble wrapping your head around J.D. Martinez being thought of among the elite, consider this: Only five players have a higher OPS over the last four seasons than Martinez. Their names? Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Paul Goldschmidt, Giancarlo Stanton and Bryce Harper. Not bad!
Now coming off an outrageously hot second half with the Diamondbacks, Martinez enters free agency as the most impactful bat on the market. Which teams could be in the mix to sign the man they call "Just Dingers"?
The Dark Horses
Cardinals: If St. Louis isn't willing to take on the bulk of the $295 million remaining on Giancarlo Stanton's contract while parting ways with some of their top pitching prospects, bringing in J.D. would certainly be a reasonable alternative.
Orioles: Sure the O's should probably focus on adding an arm or two or four, but they need someone to play either right field or DH because Mark Trumbo can't do both at the same time.
D-backs: Martinez's two-month stint with the D-backs was the hottest thing to hit Arizona since the desert weather. Expected to contend again next year, the D-backs would be smart to bring back the right-handed slugger. Watching J.D. launch oppo tacos into the Chase Field pool for the next half decade wouldn't be the worst thing ever.
Giants: The 2017 Giants outfield was last in almost every offensive category in baseball. Though the Stanton rumors are a-swirling, the Giants may not have the prospects to get a deal done, making a J.D. Martinez signing a more likely scenario. If it happens, J.D. has a decent shot at being the first right-handed hitter ever to hit a ball into McCovey Cove.
Red Sox: Dave Dombrowski signing Martinez this time around would be a slightly bigger deal than when he did it in Detroit, but it would also make a lot of sense for a Boston team in need of offense. The outfield is crowded with the Win Dance Repeat crew, but a DH spot is very available assuming the Sox are cool with Hanley Ramirez primarily playing first base.
Jordan: Red Sox.