Mason's mailbag: Is J.D. Martinez gone after the 2019 season?

J.D. Martinez was one of the only hitters consistently giving the Red Sox competitive at-bats in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK — Following a bloodletting in the Bronx, Red Sox fans had plenty on their mind. 

Here are some quick-hit questions that Daily News readers and Twitter users asked beat writer Chris Mason about the state of the team after their losing streak hit eight. 

Is J.D. Martinez leaving after this year? He looks like a man who can’t wait to leave? — @tomsantos70

Martinez’s situation is fascinating.

With an opt-out clause looming at the season’s end, he’s certainly outplayed his contract in Boston. After this year he’s got three years and roughly $62 million left. 

But how much more can he get on the open market?

Martinez turns 32 this month and is basically full-time designated hitter, limiting his suitors to American League teams. Martinez has only started two games in the outfield since the All-Star break, and it’s fair to wonder whether his balky back has been an issue. 

Does Martinez take the risk and hit free agency again? Or will he opt for security with his current deal?

What’s the likelihood of there being a pitching coach change for next season? — @Ccdays

When a team underachieves this badly, there always seems to be a fall guy.

The Red Sox have far and away the biggest payroll in baseball, and after last week’s debacle, it’ll take a minor miracle for them to play October baseball. Alex Cora isn’t going anywhere and hitting coach Tim Hyers has the best offense in baseball.  

Fair or not, it very well could be Dana LeVangie that wears this one.

All of the talk is about lacking relief pitching, but should a move for youthful starters take higher importance in the offseason? — @TaylorLewis90

A lot depends on what you think David Price is going to be moving forward. 

If ‘19 is the new norm and he’s basically on the CC Sabathia plan — five innings, 90-something pitches — they’re going to need more front-end help. Price would slot in as a fine No. 3 or 4, but far more firepower is needed for an ace. 

If things continue to spiral downhill is there a chance Dave Dombrowski gets let go after this year? — @RedSoxFan991

Back in spring training, John Henry said, “It probably doesn’t make sense for your general manager to go into his final year without a contract.”

Dombrowski’s contract is up after 2020, so it would seem that ownership has a major decision looming.

He won a World Series just nine months ago, but is Dombrowski the architect the Sox want to invest in with a long-term commitment moving forward?

Of all the trades made at the deadline by other teams, which player(s) would you have liked to see the Sox add? — @MPPMPP

Something like major-league talent for Mets closer Edwin Diaz would have been foolish, but I think middle-tier of the relief market was remarkably affordable. If you land any of those guys it improves the ‘pen, sends the right message, and doesn’t kill your farm system.

Would you consider Dombrowski the 2019 MVP for not mortgaging the farm for a reliever who wouldn’t have seen the mound the last six games? — @TheRoboUmp


If Dombrowski knew this was a dead team walking he would have sold pieces at the deadline. 

The Sox weren’t dead last Wednesday. They’ve have packed it in since. 

Considering it will be a race for a playoff spot, in September do you let guys like Bobby Dalbec get innings or are you still worried about securing a playoff spot and don’t bother? — @stevedasoxfan

A lot depends on how the next two weeks play out. 

If the Sox don’t mop the floor with Kansas City and Los Angeles this week, and/or lose the following series in Cleveland, you may see a whole lot of prospect at-bats come September.

Do you believe that the atmosphere in the RedSox clubhouse is toxic? Unhappy players? The difference from 2018 to 2019 is abysmal! — @i__am__noe

I don’t believe the tenor of the clubhouse has been that different than ‘18. 

Personally I think this is more of a Rocky III situation. 

The reigning champs just got popped in the mouth by a bunch of hungry Clubber Langs. 

What is the plan for first base for 2020? I’d imagine Michael Chavis would be the starter, but also wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in a trade for pitching. — @SoxSphere_CWH

I doubt they’ll bring back Mitch Moreland or Steve Pearce, so there should be a great camp competition here. 

Between Chavis, Dalbec, and Sam Travis there are plenty of young bats in the system. Opportunity knocks. Who is going to answer? 

Any word on Dustin Pedroia? Has he been with the team? — @ryanjohnsn

Nope. He’s home in Arizona. I actually asked Cora about him last month and he said Pedroia was “thinking about stuff.” Read into that as you will. 

PawSox starter Kyle Hart should get a shot at the No. 5 in the rotation next year, right? — @cantone11

I’d be very curious to see Hart as a September call-up.

There’s no way to deny his minor league success, but the Sox prioritize swing-and-miss pitchers, and he hasn’t lit the world on fire with that in Triple A. I’d love to see a trial run if the Sox fall well out of contention. 

What’s wrong with Chris Sale? — @ConlyJeff

Where to begin? Sale’s velocity is down, he can’t command his fastball consistently, the slider hasn’t had the same bite, and his changeup has come and gone. 

In short, a lot, but the Red Sox continue to insist that he’s healthy. 

Is a Mookie Betts trade in the offseason likely to happen? — @MocksJonny

I don’t know that I’d say likely, but it’s possible. If the two sides aren’t close in contract negotiations — which they haven’t been — the Sox can’t let him walk away for nothing after 2020.

With one of the lowest ranked farm systems in baseball, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to replenish if Betts is intent on going to the highest bidder and it’s not going to be the Sox.  

Chris Mason can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @ByChrisMason.