Boston, Massachusetts - When the New York Yankees signed Giancarlo Stanton to a massive contract during the 2017-18 MLB off-season, many figured that the back-to-back American League East division titles won by the Boston Red Sox would be halted as the Yankees, with a young core of talented players, would now be put over the top in the division by adding Stanton, the reigning National League MVP.
And while the Yankees did win 100 games on the season and they did set the record for most home runs hit in a single season by a team, they did not end up winning the division. They didn’t really end up winning much of anything. Instead, they fell eight games short of winning the division to the 108 win Red Sox, who then ended up being the team to knock New York out of the post-season in the ALDS, three games to one.
That’s because Boston added a much more valuable free agent than Stanton during the off-season by signing J.D. Martinez to a five year deal worth just over 100 million dollars. Coming off a high quality season split between the Detroit Tigers and the Arizona Diamondbacks, Martinez cranked up the skill during the 2018 campaign with the Red Sox by bringing power back into the lineup (an element Boston has missed since David Ortiz retired) with forty-three home runs and one hundred and thirty RBIs, the latter statistic being good for leading all major leaguers.
Martinez was more than just a slugger, though, despite spending most of the season at the designated hitter slot, as he also hit .330, his highest single season batting average by fifteen points, and was in deep contention for the Triple Crown at one point.
Martinez also got the post-season off to a hot start by clobbering a three-run home run in the ALDS and he ended the World Series with a home run in the final game, as well. During 2018, Martinez was an All-Star, the August Player of the Month, a two time Player of the Week, and he became the first hitter in MLB history to win two Silver Sluggers in a single season.
It’s safe to say Martinez wound up being the better signing, when compared to Stanton. After all, he now has a ring, too.