Victor Martinez

With all the talk of what will go on with Josh Beckett, Victor Martinez’s importance to the Red Sox success has been highly overlooked. Martinez came to Boston and has done exactly what the Sox brought him over to do, and then some. Not only has he continued his reputation for being a powerhouse and great contact hitter, he has also played a much better backstop for the Red Sox than he did in Cleveland. If Beckett walks (or gets moved), we can fill in the holes within our system in 2011. Tazawa and Bowden are both pretty much ready to pitch right now at the Major League level and just need a little development period. If V-Mart walks, short of signing Joe Mauer, the Red Sox will have problems at catcher until 2012-2013 when Luis Exposito is expected to be ready to take over catching duties long-term. Even that however, is far from a sure thing. The other option, is after a year worth of playing backup, the captain Jason Varitek could come back as the starting catcher, but that puts a big hole in the Sox lineup as the numbers these 2 provide offensively can’t even be compared. Varitek also doesn’t have the versatility to play 1B when Youkilis needs a day off, and the Sox will likely no longer have Ortiz, Beltre or Lowell either, causing this depth of 2010 to thin very quickly.

So what do you do if you are Theo Epstein? If you ask me, an extension for V-Mart is an essential start, even before addressing the Beckett situation. I think 4/$55-65MM should both get the job done, as well as not hurt the team financially should V-Mart become a DH, and Exposito be ready. Also should V-Mart become injury prone, he would have an immediate and cheap replacement. However, the occasional day at first and having Varitek to step in should keep Martinez healthy enough to catch another few years. Feel free to leave your thoughts.

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