The finalists for the 2018 awards voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America were revealed on Monday. Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez was not among the three finalists for the American League Most Valuable Player Award. His teammate, Mookie Betts, as well as Mike Trout and José Ramírez were. The winner will be revealed on Thursday, November 15.
Scott Boras, Martinez’s agent, thinks his client was snubbed, per Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio. Boras said, “Every voter should be brought publicly into a forum and be taken to task for their negligence.” Boras also said, “There’s a complete breach of understanding of the value of the player.”
Boras is almost certainly just making a stink to draw more eyeballs to Martinez’s numbers this past season: a 1.031 OPS, 43 HR, 111 runs, 130 RBI (best in the majors). Martinez can opt out of his current contract after the 2019 or 2020 seasons. Making his 2018 production memorable is a small way Boras can add more leverage on behalf of his client if he goes in search of a new contract. It might make the difference between an exec focusing on Martinez’s age or his gaudy numbers. Boras is banking on the media picking this up and running with it based on his outlandish claims. Boras is well aware that 1B/DH types have found less and less success in free agency as front offices have integrated analytics to a greater degree. This is the kind of stuff that makes Boras such a successful agent.