FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The arrival of J.D. Martinez to the Red Sox could come Wednesday, once he passes his physical. The anticipation in the clubhouse for the arrival of this offseason's premier slugger was building by the end of Tuesday's team workout.For a team with World Series aspirations, the
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The arrival of J.D. Martinez to the Red Sox could come Wednesday, once he passes his physical. The anticipation in the clubhouse for the arrival of this offseason's premier slugger was building by the end of Tuesday's team workout.
For a team with World Series aspirations, the addition of a player who belted 45 homers in just 432 at-bats last season was a thrilling development.
• Sources: Red Sox have 5-year deal with J.D.
"It's a good bat and at least 40 homers," said Hanley Ramirez. "And we're trying to win this [thing]. This is how we can do it, to get a player like that. We've been together for three or four years training together down in Miami. We have a good relationship. He's a good hitter, and I think he's going to help us a lot."
After finishing last in the American League this past season with 168 homers, the Red Sox now have the type of impact slugger who can instantly change that.
Martinez also represents another veteran presence to help the team's talented young core.
"He's a great player," said Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi. "He's proven himself. I'm just looking forward to getting to know him. I've heard he's helped out young guys throughout his years, so I'll be all ears when he comes in."
The right-handed hitting Martinez should provide the type of impact in the middle of the order the Red Sox badly missed during David Ortiz's first season of retirement last year.
"He's obviously a presence," said Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. "Having that type of presence in the lineup can make a difference and that's what he is; he's a difference-maker."
The Red Sox won the AL East with 93 wins in each of the past two seasons, but also lost both years in the Division Series. They now have the type of big bat that could help lead them to a deep October run.
"He's a force, obviously," said first baseman Mitch Moreland. "To have him kind of anchored in the middle of our lineup is only going to help us.
"It's great having him, obviously," said Bradley. "We look forward to seeing him and welcoming him with open arms, and we can't wait for him to be a part of this unit."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.