New York Mets Sign J.D. Martinez for 2024 Season

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The New York Mets signed J.D. Martinez to a one-year contract for the 2024 season, ending a surprisingly lengthy free agency period for the veteran. Phil Bickford was designated for assignment in order for the Mets to add Martinez to their 40-man roster.

“J.D. is a veteran major league player with a proven track record,” Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns said in a statement. “His valuable bat will provide protection and extend the lineup. His addition to the club continues our commitment to compete in 2024 and beyond.”

Martinez’s contract with the Mets is worth a reported $12 million but is said to include deferred salary that will be paid in annual installments from 2034-2038.

Martinez joined the Mets after a bounce-back season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was coming off a down year with the Boston Red Sox, but the Dodgers believed reuniting Martinez with Mookie Betts and hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc would pay dividends.

Not only did that prove to be true, but Betts credited Martinez for helping spark his MVP-caliber season as well.

Martinez batted .271/.321/.572 with 33 home runs, 103 RBI and a 135 wRC+ in his lone season with the Dodgers. He dealt with a nagging right groin/adductor injury throughout much of the year and it required Martinez to adjust his routine and spend time on the injured list.

There was mutual interest between Martinez and the Dodgers early into free agency, but the possibility of his return hinged on their pursuit of Shohei Ohtani. That of course ended with the Dodgers signing Ohtani to a record-setting $700 million contract.

That was followed by Martinez drawing interest from the likes of the Los Angeles Angels, Miami Marlins, San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays in addition to the Mets.

However, more recently it was reported teams attempted to take advantage of a slow-moving free agency by offering Martinez contracts below market value.

Throughout his career, the 36-year-old has hit .287/.350/.524 with 366 doubles, 23 triples, 315 home runs and 1,002 RBI over 13 seasons. Martinez has earned six All-Star Game selections, including in 2023 with the Dodgers, and is a three-time Silver Slugger Award recipient.

Since 2018, Martinez ranks second among all designated hitters with 420 RBI. Ohtani leads all DH with 425 RBI during that same span.

J.D. Martinez turned down Giants offer

While Martinez was still a free agent, he reportedly rejected a contract offer from the Giants as he sought a more lucrative deal and harbored concerns over playing home games at pitcher-friendly Oracle Park.

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