The major news from over the past weekend was the Los Angeles Dodgers signing Shohei Ohtani to a record-breaking 10-year, $700 million contract, but there was a lot of fallout from that deal for the New York Mets as well. First and foremost, the Mets front office doesn't have an additional $70 million annual salary on the books for the next decade, which as we learned last year excessive spending doesn't equal positive results.
Furthermore, free agent DH J.D. Martinez is officially not returning to Los Angeles with Ohtani taking the full-time DH spot, which opens up his market to numerous teams in search of a designated hitter next season, including the Mets. With Ohtani being the big fish on the free agent market, Martinez should be next in line to sign a deal, as he is arguably the best option at DH in free agency currently.
J.D. Martinez could fill a huge need for the Mets next season with his departure from Los Angeles now sealed.
The Mets, who played musical chairs at DH last season, could use a solid veteran bat like Martinez in the middle of their lineup next season, as they sorely lacked in the power department with protection behind Pete Alonso. MLB Reporter Jon Heyman has even suggested the Mets as a potential landing spot for Martinez in addition to a few other teams such as the Angels, Diamondbacks, and Mariners.
While currently much of the focus is on the pitching market for the Mets, they look to rebuild their bullpen and starting rotation, they should also be evaluating options such as Martinez to boost a lineup that struggled mightily over different courses of the season.
The six-time All-Star had a bounce back year in 2023 with the Dodgers as he sported a .271 batting average, along with 33 home runs and 103 RBI. I wouldn't anticipate it taking more than a two-year deal to lock Martinez in, but we know the free-agent market tends to shock many when we least expect it. Need further evidence? Look no further than this past weekend.