David Price told J.D. Martinez that the Red Sox would ‘love to have him here’ as the organization tried to lure the Diamondback’s slugger. Now that Martinez has arrived, Price broke down his new teammate’s approach, impact on the clubhouse, and potential fit in Boston.
“He’s fun to watch, great dude.” Price said Wednesday morning. “A really good acquisition.”
Before he decided to join the Red Sox, Martinez came to Price with questions about playing in Boston. Price, who faced the wrath of fans last year as he battled an elbow injury and Dennis Eckersley, told Martinez the truth.
“Oh, yeah, he’ll get booed,’” Price told USA Today. “I told J.D. he will love the guys here in this clubhouse but also told him he’ll get booed. He’s a quiet, soft-spoken guy, but he’ll handle it. Besides, everyone gets booed. I heard Big Papi get booed many times in Fenway.”
But Price said Wednesday that he believes Martinez will be successful in Boston.
“He’s different from me. So it’s good,” Price said. “He’s a good dude. He’s quiet. He’ll go about his business and hit a lot of homers for us.”
David Price had a good breakdown of former (and new) teammate J.D. Martinez: pic.twitter.com/zEOiZMe8Up
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) February 21, 2018
Price played with Martinez for the Detroit Tigers during the second half of the 2014 season into the first half of 2015. He said that the new Sox slugger learned from watching Miguel Cabrera and working with Victor Martinez.
“He really took after Miggy’s approach when he was in Detroit. It did wonders for him,” Price said. “He’s going to drive the ball to right field, right center. If the pitcher makes a mistake with a breaking ball, he’s going to hit it to left field.”
Price described the work ethic Martinez displayed in Detroit. He said that J.D. and Victor would get to the field early and hit during early batting practice, regular batting practice, and then again before the game.
“Him and Victor would hit all day long…He takes a lot of swings and he’s always working. He turned himself into a really good hitter,” Price said.
The Martinez acquisition was vital for the Sox as they try to match the Yankees in an offseason arms race. New York added Giancarlo Stanton to a lineup that already boasted Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez.
“The Yankees made moves this offseason,” Price said. “To be able to combat those moves with a guy like J.D., that was a good move.”
So are the moves on both sides going to re-inflame the Boston-New York rivalry?
“Yeah, we hate the Yankees,” Price joked. “It’s building up big time.”