J.D. Martinez and agent Scott Boras sat between Red Sox team president Dave Dombrowski and manager Alex Cora as the free agent outfielder was officially welcomed to the Boston franchise on Monday morning.
Martinez signed a five-year, $110 million deal after a long offseason of flirtation between the two sides.
"It's been a long process, I'm happy just to put everything behind me and just go out and play baseball," Martinez said.
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Martinez took a physical with the team on Wednesday but doubt crept in for fans and media when no announcement came in the days following the appointment with team doctors. USA Today reported Monday the concern with the physical focused on the physical review of a right foot injury.
"Anytime you do something like this it's very thorough," Dombrowski said. "Some of it, at this time of year, everybody's not at one place for your physical. J.D. did fly to Boston at one time -- we didn't have all of our doctors here -- and then it was a matter of us kind of completing the language of the contract. The language was to really protect all sides."
Martinez, 30, split last season with the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks. He hit 29 home runs with the Diamondbacks.
"There were times where obviously you thought about it," Martinez said of the drawn-out process. "I talked to Scott and ... I trust my talent. It's part of the negotiations, part of the process. I'm here now and read to get going."
Martinez is a .285 career hitter in seven seasons with 152 home runs.
"Four years ago, going into '14, I kind of realized I had to make a change," Martinez said. "I dedicated myself to studying what makes other players good. I started making adjustments, tweaks, felt like I was onto something. And here I am today."
He'll likely slot into the middle of the Boston batting order, where Rafael Devers and Hanley Ramirez are expected to be in the mix in the 3-4-5 spots. Red Sox designated hitters hit .244 with 26 home runs last season.
"I was able to talk to J.D. in December and yesterday we finished our conversation," Cora said. "He really cares about baseball. It's a great fit obviously. We got another great athlete. Versatile, he's going to help us win ballgames."
Martinez can opt out of his contract after the 2019 or 2020 season. He is scheduled to make $23.75 million per year in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
--Field Level Media
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