Dodgers News: Why J.D. Martinez Took Less Money to Sign With LA

The Dodgers haven’t had a ton of success over the years signing Scott Boras clients. In general, players choose Boras because they’re looking to get top dollar, and L.A. is pretty good at being disciplined when the free-agent market goes crazy (for better or for worse).

JD Martinez is a Boras client, which paid off handsomely over the past five years, when he pulled in about $22 million per year from the Red Sox. This offseason, though, Boras told The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal that Martinez prioritized winning over earning top dollar in signing with Los Angeles.

Martinez’s agent, Scott Boras, pointed to the slugger’s relationship with his former Red Sox teammate, Mookie Betts, and Dodgers hitting instructor Robert Van Scoyoc, who helped Martinez revamp his swing after the 2013 season. …

“(Dodgers president of baseball operations) Andrew Friedman and Mookie were like college coaches seeking the big recruit,” Boras said. “J.D. was fully aware of the recent signings and took $6 million to $7 million below his value.

“He wanted to win and he wanted to (optimize his ability). He felt the Dodgers were the best team to help him achieve those goals. He made them fully aware he has every intention to play well and seek his true value in the seasons ahead.”

Obviously, some of this is spin. When a Boras client doesn’t appear to get top dollar, it serves Boras well to tell some sort of “He could have made more if he wanted to” tale. But in this offseason’s market, it seems likely there’s at least some truth to it. Martinez’s deal does seem light in this environment, so maybe he really did take less to reunite with Mookie Betts and Robert Van Scoyoc. If so, he’d be the second player in the last week to take less for the chance to play in L.A.

Let’s hope it pays off for both sides.

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  1. Good lord, you guys put this man’s photo on Dodgers Nation; now I have to look at the face of evil for several days when I go to the website (regularly to check in)! Oh man!!!

  2. Boras probably informed JD that he would be taking less as well. I’m sure he wasn’t happy about that.

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