Scott Boras: Andrew Friedman & Mookie Betts Were Instrumental To J.D. Martinez Signing With Dodgers

In an offseason that arguably has been more notable in terms of free agents lost rather than new additions, the Los Angeles Dodgers looked to bolster their lineup with the reported signing of J.D. Martinez to a one-year contract.

Martinez not only is poised to join the Dodgers on a short-term deal, but also at just a $10 million salary. That’s seemingly below market value for such an established designated hitter, particularly when taking into account the type of contracts teams have doled out this winter.

However, the Dodgers have a proven track record of helping players re-establish their value, but other factors appear to have been at play for Martinez.

Agent Scott Boras said president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and Mookie Betts were key in Martinez deciding to sign with the Dodgers, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic,

“(Dodgers president of baseball operations) Andrew Friedman and Mookie were like college coaches seeking the big recruit,” Boras said. “J.D. was fully aware of the recent signings and took $6 million to $7 million below his value.

“He wanted to win and he wanted to (optimize his ability). He felt the Dodgers were the best team to help him achieve those goals. He made them fully aware he has every intention to play well and seek his true value in the seasons ahead.”

Martinez played two seasons with Betts in Boston, including in 2018 when the Red Sox defeated the Dodgers to win the World Series. Martinez has been credited for helping Betts and other young Red Sox hitters through conversations in and around the batting cage.

In terms of his own on-field production, Martinez should provide the Dodgers with a needed bat to face left-handed pitching. Though, he is looking to overcome a subpar finish to this past season after getting off a strong start en route to earning a second consecutive and fourth career All-Star Game selection.

Dodgers shift strategy by signing J.D. Martinez

Since the universal DH has been implemented, the Dodgers used the spot in their lineup to rotate regular players as a means of providing them some rest.

However, with the signing of Martinez, the Dodgers have locked themselves into a single DH on a nightly basis. The 35-year-old has played outfield in his career, but didn’t do so at all during the 2022 season.

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