Mets latest move admits they waited way too long to make free agent signing

The New York Mets waited too long to sign J.D. Martinez and will not have the veteran slugger at their disposal to start the 2024 season because of it.

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three
Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three / Norm Hall/GettyImages

The New York Mets made a critical free agent signing earlier this week when they signed veteran slugger J.D. Martinez to a one-year, $12 million contract. But their latest move further validates the awkward timing of the transaction.

Martinez will begin his Mets tenure in the minor leagues as an attempt to get some at-bat reps under his belt after New York picked him up this late into spring training, meaning he won’t be with the team for “at least” the first 10 days of the 2024 MLB campaign, per Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Mets option J.D. Martinez to minors after last-minute signing

There were rumblings that Martinez and the Mets had been potentially exploring this shocking approach to getting the six-time All-Star up to speed with his new team, and now it has come to fruition, which New York may have been able to avoid had they not waited so long to sign him.

With 2024 Opening Day on the horizon, when the Mets host the Milwaukee Brewers on Thurs., Mar. 28, it is understandable for Marinez to exercise his minor league options as he looks to get back into the swing of things (pun intended). But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this move is that the three-time Silver Slugger still has the flexibility to do so at this stage in his career. However, it shouldn’t take long for him to get acclimated.

While he may be approaching the tail end of his career as a player entering his age-36 campaign, Martinez showed little-to-no signs of slowing down last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting .271 with 33 home runs and 103 RBIs, and will provide the Mets lineup with a much-needed infusion of power in the heart of the batting order.