Gabriel Baumgaertner: Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski loves spending his money established power hitters.

Hours after the Jacksonville Jaguars earned a 10-3 win over the Buffalo Bills, Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue had a message for Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito.

No. 64 on the Bills is Incognito and Ngakoue’s hashtag, #Iaintjonathanmartin, is a reference to a bullying scandal with the Miami Dolphins that resulted in Incognito getting released by the team.

And his connection with Dombrowski—who signed him as a no-name minor league free agent in Detroit years ago—coupled with the general manager’s perpetual willingness to spend on elite talent improves Boston’s odds.?

Boston could do a bit of everything last year except hit for power. Martinez, one of the game’s best power bats, will fit right in for the Red Sox.

Connor Grossman: After enduring a surprising power outage last season, the Red Sox will be the team to tackle Scott Boras’s sky-high contract demands for Martinez. The slugger’s outfield skills are already subpar, so it makes sense he would land in the American League where he can start DHing now (and throughout a deal that should last until he’s 36 or 37). Martinez is reportedly seeking $200-plus million, most of which is only possible thanks to his 45-homer career year in 2017. Even if he doesn’t get $200 million, Boston is one of the few franchises that could approach that figure.

2018 free agents like Terrelle Pryor, Mike Wallace, Danny Amendola, and Jordan Matthews could offer some instant support. A handful of intriguing prospects could also bolster the team’s roster through the draft. No matter what happens, whoever steps in to fill Fox’s shoes will have his work cut out for him in Chicago.

Karp, and fellow ratings expert Anthony Crupi, TV reporter for Advertising Age, both expected NFL ratings to swing back this season, thinking temporary issues—most notably massive interest in the presidential election during the first half of the 2016 season—played a large role in last year’s fall. Plus, traditionally popular teams like the New York Giants, Dallas, Green Bay and Oakland seemed poised for successful years. “The fact that the ratings haven’t bounced back is surprising,” Crupi says. “Take all the political stuff out and it feels like there are more long-lasting reasons at play. The 18-34 demographic is just completely disappearing from TV.”blues_1055

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