The Los Angeles Dodgers took the baseball world by storm when they signed two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani to a blockbuster, 10-year, $700 million mega-contract. The move, which sent shockwaves around everyone in MLB, could also have a notable effect on the Miami Marlins.
Ohtani signing could mean JD Martinez departing
Adding Ohtani to an already-loaded LA roster cements the fact that the Dodgers' 2023 DH, JD Martinez, is not officially out of a job. Since the slugger has not played an everyday role in the outfield since his 60 starts in RF in 2017, there is no opportunity for Martinez to rejoin the Dodgers. He must relocate in 2024.
This is the perfect opportunity for the Marlins, who have been disappointingly quiet during the Winter Meetings, to finally make an offseason splash. It also gives them the chance to replace recently departed slugger Jorge Soler with a difference-making bat.
The aforementioned Soler made a massive impact in Miami last season. He paced the club with 36 homers. He drove in 75 runs. And he hit for a tidy .250 batting average. His contributions will be sorely missed.
However, adding Martinez would instantly fill the void at DH. Despite being 36 years old, the six-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger is still a very dangerous hitter. He belted 33 home runs last season to go along with 103 RBI and a stellar .271 batting average. In fact, the veteran's 34 home run average per 162 games is slightly ahead of Soler's 32 HR mark.
While Martinez's age seems to be brining down his market value (he is projected to make just $15.4 million in 2024), his Baseball Savant metrics show that he is still hitting the ball as hard and as well as anyone in baseball. While his RBI totals would likely take a hit in a lesser Miami offense, there is no reason to think that Martinez could not match, or even surpass Soler's production.
Adding his bat to a lineup that already has plus power in Josh Bell, Jake Burger, and Jazz Chisholm Jr, would provide Miami with the firepower to push toward another postseason berth in 2023. It would also jumpstart an offseason in which the Marlins are also expected to seriously pursue upgrades at catcher and shortstop (among other needs).
Additionally, Martinez is a Miami native who went to High school in Pembroke Pines and college in Fort Lauderdale (at Nova Southeastern University). What better way for the hometown kid to begin rounding out an amazing baseball career, than by mashing home runs in Miami's Loan Depot Park?
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