John Henry calls collusion talk ‘ridiculous’

Left to right, Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski, Principal Owner John Henry, and Chariman Tom Werner
Left to right, Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski, Principal Owner John Henry, and Chariman Tom Werner –Boston Globe Staff Photo/Jim Davis

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Hours after Red Sox owner John Henry said talk of collusion in free-agent negotiations was “ridiculous,” his team made a splash by reaching agreement with slugger J.D. Martinez on a $110 million, five-year contract.

About half the 166 players who exercised free-agency rights in November remain unsigned.

“There are a lot of factors, I think, driving it, and I think they’ve all been identified,” Henry said Monday as Boston began full-squad workouts. “There’s a lot of factors that have driven this offseason, and you just can’t expect every season to be a feeding frenzy, so to speak.”

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Jake Arrieta and Mike Moustakas were among the free agents still looking for a place to play.

“This one, it’s surprised me,” he said of the slow pace of agreements. “I think it’s surprised all of us in baseball.” ”But, I think probably next year will be quite different.”

By late afternoon, word had spread that Martinez was headed to the Red Sox.

Next year’s free-agent class includes Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson, plus possible Clayton Kershaw.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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