An extended extension: The V-Mart saga.

So I guess since I am a Red Sox fan I should address the Victor Martinez situation…

Look, signing players beyond 30 is always questionable. Luckily, the earlier they are in their 30’s, the less questionable it becomes.

But for example, giving Derek Jeter a 6 year, $100 million contract, would be stupid.  He is turning 36 during this upcoming season.  Never would I ever give a 6 year contract to a 36 year old player.  And frankly, I do not care who the player in question is.  From Albert Pujols to Alex Rodriguez.

But some have, rather seriously if I recall, entertained the idea that Jeter receives a contract of that nature.

But how about if the player we are speaking of is only 31?

Well, the scenario changes drastically.  And because this player, Martinez, is a catcher, his body is less likely to hold up over time.

Regardless, the contract should not even sniff six seasons, nor should it.  Theo will make sure it doesn’t.  Trust me on this.  But that was never considered as it is.

But three years?  Sure, that sounds like a very realistic accusation.  But even so, why should they even worry about it right now?  Martinez, a very solid player, and a very good hitting catcher, isn’t going anywhere until the end of the year.

Maybe the idea of an extension should be entertained, but it should definitely not be “worried” about.

According to ‘WAR,’ which probably knows less about a catchers defense than the average fan :)  According to IT, Martinez has been worth an average of $15 million a season for the past three years.

We know that V-Mart was injured in 2008, and that obviously gave his overall value a huge, huge hit.  So that really shouldn’t be held against him.  However, maybe it should be accounted for.  At such a stressful position, one must account for the injury aspect for a player in his thirties (and definitely the decline).

Would it be wise to extend Martinez for say three years, $45 million?  That would be close to the definition of “paying for past performance.”  But with no real catching option in sight, and the payroll of a bonafide large market team, there may not be a better route.

Victor Martinez is a proven commodity.  No one else in there system is.  Well, except for Jason Varitek.  And aside from the absolute fact that Varitek is worth 5 wins because of his game-calling alone (joking), all he has proven late in his career is that he is finished as an everyday catcher.

Now, like the beginning of last season, they could consider trading away a few prospects for their catcher of the future.  But if they do that, they again would receive somewhat of an unknown.  Not to mention, something would have to be surrendered.

So the way I see it, Martinez could be a very solid guy to sign for the next three years (Although I would prefer only two).  However, I must reiterate, why not wait?  Give the pitchers a full season to work with him behind the plate, and see how they like him.  I have heard mixed reviews about the way Martinez works with pitchers.  Although have heard nothing bad about his character (Which is always a good thing).

But the Red Sox, being able to see if Martinez and his pitchers coexist 60 feet apart for a season, may not be all that bad of an idea.  They can subjectively consider whether or not they do in fact want to guarantee $45 mill in salary to all that is known as Victor Martinez.

And I say “all that is known” because we know he can hit.  He is one of the best hitting catchers in all of baseball.  And five of the past six seasons we know that Martinez has been an extremely good ballplayer.  Not great, but very good.

But anywhere else on the diamond, a veteran player is pretty close to what his statistics will tell you.  But the one exception, is behind the dish.

So would it be smart for the Red Sox to see what they have for at least a few more months before they sign their star catcher?

Seems wise to me…

But what do I know, I am just a blogger…  ğŸ™‚


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