Free-agent catcher Victor Martinez is bolting the Boston Red Sox to sign with the Detroit Tigers, according to multiple media reports on Tuesday.
Two weeks ago, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein expressed his strong interest in re-signing Martinez and third baseman Adrian Beltre. But he acknowledged competition for the players.
"It always comes down to dollars and years," Epstein said.
Martinez will receive a four-year deal for $50 million, according to Venezuelan reporter Ignacio Serrano of El Nacional, who first reported the agreement. The Associated Press reported that the deal is pending the results of a physical. Martinez made $7.7 million last season.
The Red Sox offered Martinez a choice of a three-year, $36 million deal or a four-year contract for $42 million, according to a major league source. The source said the Red Sox had not been informed of Martinez's decision, but the team was not surprised to hear that he would play elsewhere.
And thus begins the Era of Saltalamacchia in Boston.
Smart move for the Tigers. They were in desperate need of another big bat in the lineup. V-Mart can catch against lefties, play DH or play first to give Miggy a breather or a DH stint from time to time.