Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez: Too much 'up in the air' for free agency

BOSTON -- Given the chaotic nature of a 60-game season, many across baseball don't know what to expect when free agency starts in the lead-up to 2021.

Boston Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez, who has an opt-out in his contract after this season, said Thursday that several variables -- from the unknown financial state of market to the questions about player evaluation following a shortened season -- make him not want to test free agency.

"I don't know how [player evaluation] is going to happen," Martinez said. "I honestly feel like I would not want to be a free agent during this time for that reason. You just don't know. Everything is up in the air for guys like that. It's weird."

Still, when asked if that means he'll reject free agency this offseason, Martinez offered a short answer.

"Negative," Martinez said.

The 33-year-old slugger has struggled this season for the Red Sox, hitting .218/.305/.387 with three homers, 17 RBIs and 12 doubles in 124 at-bats with a -0.4 WAR after hitting .304/.383/.557 with 36 homers, 105 RBIs with 33 doubles in 575 at-bats with a 3.3 WAR in 2019.

Martinez signed a five-year, $110 million deal with Boston prior to the 2018 season, with opt-outs after 2019, '20 and '21.

He started his video call Thursday by saying he did not want to talk about the past or his performance this season, and wanted the questions to focus on the present and moving forward.

"I just feel like you truly can't judge the success of a player or what the player is in two months," Martinez said. "All you really need is one hot month and you had an amazing season, or you can have one terrible month and you've had a terrible season. The course of six months, you get the understanding of a player and truly what he's worth. But I get it, 60 games is better than nothing."