David Price talked to former Tigers teammate J.D. Martinez before he signed Monday with the Red Sox to warn him about what he was getting into.
"I told J.D. he will love the guys here in this clubhouse but also told him he’ll get booed," Price told USA Today. "He’s a quiet, soft-spoken guy, but he’ll handle it. Besides, everyone gets booed. I heard Big Papi (David Ortiz) get booed many times in Fenway."
Martinez signed a five-year, $110 million deal with an opt out after year two. The 30-year-old outfielder batted .303 with 45 home runs and 104 RBIs for the Diamondbacks and Tigers in 2017.
Price was coming off of a good 2016 season before last year too, and still he saw the negativity from fans and the media. That led to multiple incidents with the media that cast the left-hander in a less-than-positive light. He said he has moved on from the problems of 2017, but he wanted to make sure Martinez knew what he would face in Boston.
“It is different, different than New York or anywhere else, for sure,’’ Price said. “I know how tough it is to be here. It’s tough when things aren’t going good. I know that. But I can only imagine how good of a feeling it is when things do go good."
The Red Sox, though, got the man they needed. After finishing 27th in MLB in home runs in 2017, they added the man who led baseball in long balls in the second half of last season.
Martinez will have a lot of positivity following him simply for signing in Boston. But, as Price found out, if Martinez doesn't produce then he will have to face some tough questions. How he deals with those will go a long way in making his time with the Red Sox good, or filled with run-ins on airplanes.