Dear Al Avila and Chris Ilitch: J.D. Martinez MUST remain a Detroit Tiger

3
MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers
Aug 19, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) celebrates after he hits a two run home run in the second inning against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Gentlemen,

On behalf of Detroit Tigers fans around the world, I have some advice I would like to give to you before it’s too late.

First things first

First of all, we are aware that the 2017 Tigers have everything stacked against them at this point. Not only have they dug themselves a hole that is going to be extremely challenging to get out of, but even if they did make a huge run to get back into contention (I still believe they will), do they really have your support as owner and general manager?

That’s a serious question and it is one one that the players on your team have to be wondering. After all, Al, you said in early June that it’s a “longshot” that payroll will be added this season and Chris, well you have not really said too much at all, which says a lot.

How do you guys think that makes the players on the team feel? Personally, if I were playing for you I’d be pretty pissed off that you would not be willing to pony up, even if the team looked like it could make the playoffs.

J.D. Martinez MUST remain a Tiger

As the trade deadline approaches you guys (I say “you guys” because I know Al is not making these decisions on his own) are going to be tempted to trade away J.D. Martinez. At least a handful of teams will bring an offer to the table, why wouldn’t they as he is one of the best hitters in the game today, and you will have to make an important decision. A decision that should be very easy.

Chris and Al, you MUST decline ALL offers and keep J.D. Martinez.

Not only has J.D. been the best player on the Tigers this season but he has been one of the best in the entire league for some time now and he does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. It is crucial that he remains a part of this team for the foreseeable future.

3 Reasons to keep J.D. 

  1. As you know, Martinez is in the final year of his contract. Now, you may be thinking, “Man, we have to deal him now or else we could lose him for nothing!” Guess what, I will not argue that, but there is also a chance you can re-sign him (or extend him before it comes down to free agency) if you play your cards right. DO NOT just assume that he is going to go out and get $25 million as the market may not dictate that for a right fielder who is not a very good defender. He may be able to be kept at a reasonable price for a top player in baseball
  2. You may not realize this, but J.D. is only four days older than Justin Upton! That’s right, Martinez is still 29-years-old. The guy is in his prime and you want to give him away just because you want to save money? Listen, guys. Since Martinez is a rental player, he is not going to bring back a huge haul of top prospects. In fact, any deal that is cut will likely be disappointing at best. Do you really want to watch him tear it up on another team while you sit and hope a couple of prospects pan out? Neither do we.
  3. If you want a quick rebuild, J.D. Martinez is the perfect guy to build around. He is a hard-working player who always puts the team first and he is and will be a leader in the clubhouse for years to come if you give him the chance. A complete rebuild would not only take a minimum of five years, but it would kill the attendance at games, an attendance that has already been on the decline.

If winning is MOST important to you, prove it

I am not going to sugar coat it, I do not trust either of you right now. Al, your moves up to this point have been questionable at best and I don’t believe that you have what it takes to build a winning franchise from the ground up. (You can read more about that by clicking here)

Chris, your father was an amazing owner who cared more about winning than anything else and he was always willing to pay up. Is that one of the reasons why you are in a position to feel like you have no choice but to rebuild? Absolutely. But that does not mean it’s a good idea to just shove away your best player like you would be doing if you trade J.D. Martinez.

Al and Chis, it’s time to prove yourselves not only to your players but to Tigers fans across the country. It’s time to step up and pay J.D. Martinez what he is worth and not a penny less.

Tigers fans will thank you, trust me.