Earlier this week, the Boston Red Sox and J.D. Martinez accepted the inevitable and agreed to a contract after months of negotiating. The drawn out process understandably left some on edge. Unfortunately, those fans have had reason to remain tense -- that's because the Red Sox again passed on making an announcement on Martinez's physical on Thursday:
No announcement as of yet on J.D. Martinez. Told again that there’s no issue, more a matter of logistics and getting everything done on the physical.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) February 22, 2018
As easy as it is to assume the worst -- Martinez has a previously undisclosed condition that will cause the deal to collapse at the last minute -- there's probably a reasonable explanation for the delay. Take it from some of Boston's esteemed beat writers, who don't seem too concerned:
Martinez arrived at Fenway South on Wednesday morning. That a physical would take two days is routine in the offseason when trades or signings are made. Just more attention on it now because it’s spring training.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) February 22, 2018
Raised eyebrows understandable w/J.D. Martinez situation. But consider: David Price was reported to have agreed to terms Dec. 1, was introduced Dec. 4. Carl Crawford had two days in between news getting out and a presser, Dec. 8 and 10. It’s been just 2 days.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 22, 2018
Let’s say Red Sox want to make sure a specialist or two take an extra look at something with Martinez. That’s not out of the ordinary. How many doctors review/see a player is case by case. Add in the fact the Sox/Martinez are in Fla. … your physical isn’t a major league player’s https://t.co/m4OLT2ADe4— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 22, 2018
Those explanations seem fair. It's likely the Red Sox do want every possible set of eyes on their newest addition, and it hasn't been nearly as long as it feels -- there's just more sensitivity on the process because of when it's occurring.
Of course, even if the doctors do discover a fly in the ointment -- and to repeat, there's no reason to think they have or will -- it's possible the Red Sox and Martinez would be able to add language to the contract that would satisfy both parties without causing a falling out.
But again, for the last time, Red Sox fans probably have little more to worry about than whether Martinez will bat third or fourth for the foreseeable future.