Boston Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez spoke to WEEI’s Rob Bradford this week and expressed his frustrations with the way the market and negotiations are trending.

“One-hundred-percent,” Martinez said when asked if he expected free agents to be drastically undervalued once again this year compared to years past.

“I knew it was Why wouldn’t it? They got away with it last year, why wouldn’t they do it again? What’s going to happen? Nothing.

“It’s embarrassing for baseball, it really is. It’s really embarrassing for the game. You have a business. They say, ‘The market is down, the market is changing.’ The market is higher than it’s ever been. People are making more money than ever, and they’re trying to suppress it. It’s more of a race towards the bottom now than a race towards the top. You can go right now through everyone’s lineup and you already know who’s going to be in the playoffs. What’s the fun in that? We might as well just fast-forward to the end of the season.”

Last offseason J.D. Martinez signed a five-year, $110 million contract with Boston, but not until Feb. 26th

According to Martinez, the biggest factor may lie in teams being more incentivized to win, thus being more willing to invest money in impact players.

“We just gotta go to the drawing board,” he said. 

“The players’ association comes, sits down with the CBA, and we gotta figure out how we’re going to counter it. The game has to change. We have to incentivize to win, not to lose.

“Losing is incentivized now. You have 80 percent of the teams trying to lose. We were at a point where we were getting paid well and everything was fair. We saw where the product was going, everything was moving forward. Then we’re like, ‘OK, we’re not going to push the envelope fighting for money. Let’s fight for an extra bus.’ Again, I was a lot younger than I am now. I wasn’t aware of those things. When you get older, you go through arbitration, you start seeing it affect you directly, and you get a lot more involved. This has definitely been eye-opening to everyone. Not just myself, but all of the players. There obviously have to be some changes.

“There’s nothing we can do now. It’s going to be like this for the next three years. But it’s what they wanted. We’ve got to make sure we have our ducks aligned for 2021. I think the public knows. (Commissioner Rob) Manfred and that side is going to have lots of things to think about on their end, and the players’ association will have a lot of things to think about on our end.” 

Sounds like another strike is brewing in 2021. 

Of course owners don’t want to pay their players in relation to how much they deserve. 

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