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It appears the New York Mets are looking to add another power bat this winter.
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, there has been “dialogue” between free-agent slugger J.D. Martinez and the Mets with spring training right around the corner.
Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns has made several moves this winter, such as signing pitchers Jake Diekman, Adam Ottavino and Sean Manaea, but he has yet to sign a bat to help star slugger Pete Alonso.
New York already boasts the second-highest payroll in baseball entering the 2024 campaign, and SNY’s Andy Martino reported earlier this month that the Mets are unlikely to add a designated hitter on the open market unless the price comes “way down.”
It’s unclear what kind of contract Martinez is looking for this offseason, but he enjoyed a resurgence at the plate last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers and could likely land a solid deal.
The 36-year-old slashed .271/.321/.572 with 33 home runs and 103 RBI in 113 games en route to an All-Star selection. For comparison, he hit just 16 home runs and posted 62 RBI in 139 games with the Boston Red Sox in 2022.
The Mets could benefit from adding a bat of Martinez’s caliber, and placing him behind Alonso in the batting order could also put more pressure on opposing pitchers and lead to more production.
Considering Martinez is also entering his 14th major league season and has won a World Series, he’d be a great veteran resource for young players like Brett Baty, Mark Vientos and Francisco Álvarez.
Pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Feb. 12 and position players report on Feb. 17. With those dates nearing, it’ll be interesting to see if the Mets make a stronger push for Martinez over the next week or so.