Victor Martinez was not looking to leave the Boston Red Sox, but the Tigers gave him eight million reasons to move to Detroit.
According to published reports, that was the difference between the 4-year offers he received from each team – the Red Sox offered $42 million while the Tigers countered with $50 million.
“I was doing all that I could do to come back to Boston, but it didn’t work out,” Martinez said. “That’s the business part of the game and there’s nothing you can do about it. They went out and definitely got way better with Gonzalez and Crawford. It is what it is. What can I tell you? I had a blast playing in Boston.”
Martinez is back in New England for a 2-game rehab stint for the Toledo Mud Hens as they face the PawSox at McCoy Stadium. He’s been out of action since April 19th with a strained groin.
“I’m doing great. I feel a lot better and I’m going to test it today,”Martinez said. “I just love to play the game. It’s not fun to be watching from the bench or in the training room. It doesn’t matter what team I’m with, I just want to go out there and play every day. It’s been a little frustrating watching my teammates play and I just want to be part of it.”
Martinez says he remains in frequent contract with several of his former Boston teammates and he’s confident that their early-seasons struggles won’t last.
“It happens to everybody,” Martinez said. “That shows you that this is baseball and anything can happen. They have the talent – there’s no doubt about it. It won’t be like that the whole season. They’re going to wake up and when they wake up – watch out. They’re too good of a team to play like they’re playing right now for the whole season.”
Considering the slow starts of Jarrod Saltalamacchia (.204/.259/.259 in 17 games) and Jason Varitek (.111/.200/.139 in 13 games), it’s easy to second guess Boston’s decision to let Martinez go, but Victor was not about to.
“They’re two great ballplayers,” Martinez said. “You can’t take anything away from Jason Varitek for all he has done for that organization. That’s a man who has given everything that he’s got for the organization. I really had a great time being Jason Varitek’s teammate. He’s one of the best teammates that I’ve ever had playing baseball. And Saltalamacchia is another great guy. He’s going to turn it around. He’s got great talent and he just needs to get comfortable. That’s the key part. When he gets comfortable, his talent is going to come out.”
Martinez is expected to be Toledo’s designated hitter on Monday at 6:15 and Tuesday at 12:05 before rejoining the Tigers on Wednesday.