JD Martinez Dodger’s deal

LOS ANGELES — At the trade deadline, the Dodgers pushed hard to land the Red Sox’s JD Martinez, but the asking price was never lowered and a deal between the two teams never materialized.

More than four months later, the Dodgers got their man. They agreed a one-year, $10 million deal with Martinez, a source told MLB.com. The deal, pending the completion of a physical, has not been confirmed by the club.

The addition of 35-year-old Martinez gives the Dodgers some much-needed depth in the lineup, especially from the right flank. He got off to a hot start last season, earning his fifth All-Star honor. However, Martinez’s production waned in the second half, and he posted a .701 OPS after the All-Star break.

Overall, Martinez finished the year with a .790 OPS and had 43 doubles and 16 home runs. He was particularly dangerous against left-handed pitching, posting a .998 OPS.

In LA, Martinez will reunite with batting coach Robert Van Scoyoc, who tutored extensively with the hitter-designate before getting a job in organized baseball.

Martinez will also be reunited with Mookie Betts, who, like Martinez, was crucial to the Red Sox’s 2018 World Series Championship. The two players have often spoken about how important their cage sessions were to each other’s success. In Los Angeles they will be able to do that again.

There won’t be many defensive playoffs for Martinez next season as the Dodgers are expected to use him exclusively as a DH. Since 2018, Martinez has only played 137 outfield games and averaged minus 12 outs. The Red Sox used him exclusively at DH last season, and his defense won’t improve at 35.

The addition of Martinez also makes it harder for the Dodgers to sign longtime third baseman Justin Turner, a right-hander. The Dodgers declined a $16 million club option on Turner earlier in the offseason.

The 38-year-old Turner has long hoped to stay with the Dodgers but has received offers from a handful of teams and is still a very viable offensive player. But at this stage in his career, he’s viewed more as a designated hitter. Turner can undoubtedly still handle third base, but with Martinez now locking in at-bats from that position, especially against lefties, there may not be enough plate appearances for Turner.

The Dodgers have made it clear that Miguel Vargas will get plenty of playing time next season, another bad sign for Turner and a possible reunion. However, Los Angeles will remain in talks with Turner.

With the additions of Martinez and pitcher Noah Syndergaard in recent days, the Dodgers’ payroll for next season stands at $210 million, still $23 million below the Competitive Balance Tax threshold — a number the Dodgers have been told would prefer to fall below next season. However, the Dodgers still have a few holes in the roster that they need to fill.

LA needs to add a left-handed hitter, preferably for the outfield. If the Dodgers aren’t adding a center fielder in the trade market, look for them to add a corner outfielder and count on Betts to handle some of the center field responsibilities. Now that Dansby Swanson is reportedly heading to the Cubs, it’s becoming increasingly likely that Gavin Lux will be the first shortstop next season.

The Dodgers still have work to do this winter, but they’ve kept an eye on Martinez since free agency began. They caught him on Saturday.

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