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Price tried to sell former teammate J.D. on Sox

Boston lefty on free agent: 'I told him we'd love to have him here'
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Perhaps at some point, free-agent slugger J.D. Martinez will at last walk through the entrance to the Red Sox's clubhouse. If so, David Price would be one of the people who would greet Martinez most enthusiastically.

They were teammates with the Tigers in 2014-15, and Price did some recruiting this offseason in hopes that a reunion is possible.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Perhaps at some point, free-agent slugger J.D. Martinez will at last walk through the entrance to the Red Sox's clubhouse. If so, David Price would be one of the people who would greet Martinez most enthusiastically.

They were teammates with the Tigers in 2014-15, and Price did some recruiting this offseason in hopes that a reunion is possible.

"I've talked to him a couple of times," Price said. "I told him we'd love to have him here. He knows that. He's going through his process. You put in a lot of time and a lot of effort and a lot of hard work to get to the point to where these free agents are right now, and you usually only get to do it one time. You want to make sure you do it right. He's going through his process."

Martinez would have another familiar face in Rick Porcello if he comes to Boston.

"Yeah, J.D. and his numbers speak for themselves," Porcello said at Red Sox Winter Weekend. "I love him as a person, as a teammate. I'd have no complaints of being on his team again, for sure. Then we wouldn't have to face him."

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When Porcello and Price teamed with Martinez, he was just starting to become the high-impact slugger he is now.

"Oh man, just his approach, watching what he did before the game, just watching his at-bats, what he tried to do as a hitter," said Price. "Being around [Miguel Cabrera] every day for those 2 1/2, three years, that was really good for him. Kind of taking Miggy's approach, hitting everything to right field, and [if] a pitcher throws you a breaking ball in the zone, you'll still be on time for that. He really took a couple pages out of Miggy's book, and he incorporated his own swing into it, and he's reaping the benefits."

The Red Sox still hope they can reap those benefits, but there's still no telling when Martinez will sign. Earlier in the offseason, Boston offered the outfielder a five-year contract worth over $100 million.

The D-backs have also engaged in discussions with agent Scott Boras regarding Martinez.

Beyond that, it's unclear which other teams are in pursuit.

Martinez would be a perfect fit in the middle of Boston's batting order. Not so perfect is the positional fit. The Red Sox already have a full outfield with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts, so Martinez would likely have to get most of his at-bats as the designated hitter.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, J.D. Martinez, David Price