Red Sox: Who could replace J.D. Martinez if he opts out?

With the offseason officially here, Boston Red Sox fans will be patiently waiting to see what happens with star slugger J.D. Martinez. 

Will J.D. Martinez end up returning to Boston next campaign? That’s the question Red Sox fans have on their minds this winter. Martinez has quite the decision on his hands, as he can return next season for the final year of his contract, or he can opt out and become a free agent.

Should Martinez make his way back to Fenway Park in 2022, he’ll be all set to make $19.375 million. With that said, there’s still a strong chance he decides to leave town.

So, who could Boston go after if Martinez indeed signs elsewhere?

Nelson Cruz would be a great option for the Red Sox in 2022

If Boston will be in need of a star slugger, Nelson Cruz sure would make a ton of sense for the front office to go after. Despite being 41 years old and turning 42 in July, Cruz really has shown no signs of slowing down.

This past season with the Twins and Rays, Cruz combined to hit 32 homers, while adding 86 RBI. He’s got a big bat for the middle of the lineup and could continue to hit bombs in Boston. Cruz is surely looking to play for a competitive team as well.

With Cruz on the back-nine of his playing career, he’s not going to want to sign with a team in the middle of a rebuild. He’ll understandably want to try and win a World Series ring before he ultimately decides to hang up his cleats. He could do so in Boston, as the team made it to the ALCS this season.

Right now, everyone is waiting to see what Martinez decides. If he does leave, Boston won’t waste any time in finding a suitable replacement. Cruz should be among the first players the team calls.

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