The Boston Red Sox apparently aren’t attempting to restructure designated hitter J.D. Martinez’s contract.

Martinez has four years and $86.25 million remaining on his five-year, $110-million contract. But he has opt-out clauses after the 2019, 2020 and 2021 seasons.

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported the Red Sox are having “no talks with Martinez at present.”

“We’re hopeful he doesn’t opt out,” Dombrowski told Heyman.

Dombrowski also told Heyman he has a deadline for contract extension negotiations.

“We’re focused on winning this year,” Dombrowski told him. “I think the players are into that. … Unless something unexpected happens, we’re not going to do anything once the season starts.”

Heyman also tweeted that there are no “believed negotiation talks” with shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who has agreed with Dombrowski that they won’t negotiate in-season.

Bogaerts and Rick Porcello are eligible for free agency after the 2019 season. Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are eligible for free agency after 2020. Chris Sale is eligible for free agency after the 2019 season, but has reportedly agreed to a new deal with the Red Sox that will keep him in Boston through 2024.

ALEX CORA paused for a moment and contemplated his answer.

The Red Sox manager was asked before Thursday’s game with the Rays how many available spots remain in his Opening Day bullpen. Boston relief pitchers haven’t made the decision easy – the majority of them have struggled throughout spring training.

“It’s just a matter of who we play and what we want to do,” Cora said before the Red Sox beat Tampa Bay 8-0 at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida. “They’re all capable. Everybody who’s in the hunt is capable.”

Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier presumably occupy places toward the back end. Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez would be the leading contenders as long men and spot starters, reprising their respective roles from last season. Cora’s keeping it close to the vest if he already knows who falls in between.

Barnes struck out the side in the fourth inning Thursday and looked dominant with all three of his pitches. The right-hander is trying to incorporate his split-fingered fastball more often to make himself tougher against left-handers. They reached base at a .340 clip against Barnes last season opposite a .277 on-base percentage posted by right-handed hitters.

“I kind of had to gain some confidence and throw it in counts in which I thought it was going to be effective,” Barnes said. “I felt good with it today.”

“Stuff-wise compared to last year he’s way ahead,” Cora said. “Last year his velocity wasn’t there in camp. He kind of picked it up at the end against the Cubs.”

Johnson was out of options beore last season and managed to carve out a year-long roster spot for himself.

Tyler Thornburg, Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman currently face the same challenge. Thornburg pitched the fifth inning on Thursday and walked the bases loaded before striking out Kevin Kiermaier to escape the jam.

THERE APPEARS to be less to decide among the position players.

The Red Sox are committed to carrying just two catchers when they break camp, and there could finally be some momentum toward dealing Christian Vazquez, Sandy Leon or Blake Swihart.

ESPN reported Thursday that Boston is engaging teams in trade talks regarding Leon.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.