Winter doesn’t begin officially until Thursday morning, but it’s already been an unusual offseason for Dave Dombrowski. The Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations has been waiting out the logjam holding up the top free-agent hitters in the game.

J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas all began the week unsigned. Not coincidentally, all are represented by agent Scott Boras, who is single-handedly setting the market for what these players will receive for contracts.

For now, the Red Sox will continue to improve incrementally while still angling for a big free-agent fish. The signing of Mitch Moreland on Monday to a two-year deal helps ease the pressure of relying on Hanley Ramirez to play first base every day.

But the specter of Boras still looms large. At last week’s winter meetings, Dombrowski told me “it’s unusual to have one representative” handling potential negotiations for so many top players in one offseason.

There seems to be no doubt that Martinez is Plan A for the Red Sox. A slugger who hit 45 home runs last season, Martinez had a second half comparable to the heralded Yankee acquisition Giancarlo Stanton. While Stanton beat Martinez in second-half home-run production (33 to 31), Martinez bested Staton’s second-half batting average (.306 to .287) and OPS (1.123 to 1.095).Martinez led the majors with a .690 slugging percentage in 2017. Stanton was second at .631, followed by Mike Trout at .629.

Boras made it clear that he expects Martinez to knock it out of the park in free agency.

“He’s the King Kong of slugging,” Boras said at the winter meetings. “He’s separated himself from the greats. The Stantons, the Trouts, all of them, there’s a 40-50 point difference. You want to make a difference and not only have a player perform at a high level but accentuate an impact on the players around him, both in the locker room and on the field, it’s rare in free agency that we have a player with that kind of skill.”

In other words, Boras is looking for a rare contract for his client. As we’ve noted in recent weeks, the Red Sox can expect to overpay. But for how long? Martinez is 30 years old. If you’re Dombrowski, do you want him on the books at $30 million or more at the age of 38?

The Red Sox are undoubtedly looking at the market and wondering how many other teams would be in the hunt for a contract that comes close to that. The Yankees traded for Stanton. The Angels have made their moves. There aren’t many other teams with the need and the money to land the slugger.

Martinez could return to Arizona, where Manager Torey Lovullo called him “one of the most prepared hitters” he’s seen. The problem with the Diamondbacks, or any other NL team, is that Martinez profiles as a player who would eventually benefit from a move to DH. Signing with an NL team would mean he’d be roaming the outfield for a long time.

So the Sox may think they can wait things out while Boras looks for another team to get in the mix. Patience may pay off in landing him for fewer years. Or he may go elsewhere meaning the Sox could swoop in on Hosmer.

None of that will help calm the nerves of impatient Sox fans who have seen the Yankees load up while Boston has not countered. Tickets went on sale over the weekend at the annual “Christmas at Fenway” event and there was palpable angst over the lack of movement.

As Christmas nears, fans want a gift that matches what their friends in New York have already received: a slugger to warm the proverbial hot stove and put visions of pennants dancing in their heads.

The Red Sox are convinced they will get their man, whether it’s Martinez or another bat to spark the lineup. It just might not happen as quickly as we’d like.

Tom Caron is a studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.