FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Perhaps it's only fitting that the signing that took the entire offseason and into the early portion of Spring Training to happen would have a little bit more of a delay before it becomes official.Slugger J.D. Martinez is still expected to walk through the entrance to
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Perhaps it's only fitting that the signing that took the entire offseason and into the early portion of Spring Training to happen would have a little bit more of a delay before it becomes official.
Slugger J.D. Martinez is still expected to walk through the entrance to the Red Sox's clubhouse and put on his new uniform with the familiar No. 28 on the back in the very near future, but there was no grand entrance on Friday.
There are procedural issues related to the physical that are still being worked through, prolonging the formal announcement of a five-year, $110 million contract that includes opt-outs after the second and third seasons. The terms of the deal were agreed to on Monday.
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Friday marked the third straight day the Red Sox hoped to have a news conference, but it now appears Saturday is the earliest that one will take place.
Physicals can take varying lengths of time depending on the player, and certainly, the amount of the contract.
Martinez had a right elbow injury in 2016 and a sprained Lisfranc ligament in his right foot last year. The Red Sox could be having specialists scanning images to make sure there's minimal risk of those injuries recurring.
NBC Sports reported Saturday the Red Sox are sorting through a medical matter, but one that would not have any effect on Martinez in the immediate future, though it is unclear what the issue is.
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Another thing complicating matters is that most of the team's medical staff is in Boston.
Martinez, who lives in Miami, arrived in Fort Myers early Wednesday morning for his physical. His agent, Scott Boras, was also in town, as he typically likes to attend press conferences for his premium clients.
By Friday afternoon, nobody seemed to know if Martinez was still in town or if he had returned to his home in Miami.
"I have no idea," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who gave up his No. 28 earlier this week to free it up for Martinez.
Cora and the Red Sox went ahead with their regular business, beating the Twins, 4-3, in the Grapefruit League opener for both teams.
Has it been hard for the new manager to spend the last few days waiting on his highly-anticipated new addition?
"We're still working and getting ready," said Cora. "That's what we can do."
Is Cora concerned about the delay in the Martinez signing becoming official?
"I'm not concerned," Cora said. "The thing I can do is do my thing. My job here is to show up every day and get 'em ready."
The Red Sox have a double locker in the clubhouse that appears to be set aside for Martinez. It is between the stalls used by two other veterans -- Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez.
As of Friday, Martinez didn't have a nameplate. But there were three boxes on a shelf inside the locker.
Everyone around the Red Sox will feel better once there is a right-handed hitter in the fold to unpack those boxes.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.