The Los Angeles Dodgers have largely completed under-the-radar acquisitions this offseason, but they made their biggest splash last week when they reportedly agreed to terms with J.D. Martinez on a one-year, $10 million contract.
Martinez had spent the past five seasons with the Boston Red Sox, where he won a World Series title in 2018. Prior to that, he had stints with the Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Martinez was traded to the Diamondbacks two weeks before the deadline in 2017, and though his time with the organization was brief, he turned in one of the best performances in MLB history on September 4 of that season.
Martinez became the 18th player to hit four home runs in a game, accomplishing the feat against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. According to Sarah Langs of MLB.com, Martinez is now due to join Chuck Klein as the only players to hit four home runs against a team and then play for them:
small sample size, but fun:
there have been 18 4-homer games in MLB history
J.D. Martinez’s at LAD on 9/4/17 is the most recent
he would be the 2nd player to play FOR a team AFTER hitting 4 HR vs them, joining Chuck Klein w/PIT (1936 4 HR game vs, played 85 games for in ’39) https://t.co/5NAzHP1Sjp
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) December 18, 2022
Martinez homered against Rich Hill, Pedro Báez, Josh Fields and Wilmer Font in the historic effort. He finished the game with four home runs in five at-bats and drove in six RBI.
Martinez is now set to return to the National League West, this time as a member of the Dodgers. Once his reported signing becomes official, he would reunite with Mookie Betts and hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc.
The 35-year-old experienced some regression this past season but earned a second consecutive and fifth overall All-Star Game selection, batting .274/.341/.448 with 43 doubles, 16 home runs and 62 RBI.
Martinez presumably will be the Dodgers’ everyday designated hitter, which is vastly different from how they’ve operated since the universal DH was implemented.
Dodgers had longstanding interest in J.D. Martinez
The Dodgers have held interest in Martinez, dating back to his time with the Tigers. Prior to being traded to the Diamondbacks in 2017, L.A. was among the finalists to acquire him. They again inquired on Martinez at the trade deadline in 2022.
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