Two seemingly unconnected decisions involving major players in the AL East occurred earlier this week. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the Yankees decided not to offer Didi Gregorius a Qualifying Offer, valued at approximately $17.8 million for the 2020 season, thus making Sir Didi a Free Agent. Somewhat more surprisingly, J.D. Martinez decided not to opt-out of his contract with the Red Sox, forgoing another shot at Free Agency prior to his age-33 season in favor of the penultimate year of his original contract with the Red Sox, valued at $19.35 million.
The obvious difference here is that one player will be forced to test the waters of Free Agency, while another will play another year in familiar and friendly confines. However, while both Gregorius and Martinez will follow different paths this off-season, the process that brought each player to their current status is telling. What binds the Yankees and J.D. Martinez (and by extension his agent, Scott Boras) are their evaluation of what the Free Agent market will likely bring players this off-season (hint: it isn’t good for the players).
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