The Arizona Diamondbacks remain engaged in negotiations with J.D. Martinez, and retain a decent chance to keep the free-agent slugging star in spite of a public perception that the Boston Red Sox are the clear favorite.

Martinez’s agent Scott Boras recently had a third in-person meeting with D-backs owner Ken Kendrick, as the sides try to find common ground (Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic and MLB Network reported on the third meeting), and one D-backs person expressed a bit more optimism than before regarding their chances to keep the slugger who posted an otherworldly .741 slugging percentage with Arizona last year.

Sources suggest that the D-backs have broached “creative” ways to keep Martinez. The D-backs don’t have the same revenues or budget as the Red Sox, and have concerns about keeping their franchise first baseman Paul Goldschmidt long-term. Arizona does have some other advantages over Boston, however, including the ability to have Martinez play his preferred outfield position (his role in Boston would be DH primarily) and familiarity. Martinez is said to have loved his time in Arizona — and why not, he slugged like almost no one in baseball.

While it isn’t known specifically what “creative” means, it is believed that the D-backs are considering a higher AAV (average annual value) and shorter term with opt-outs included. This could be one way to bridge the gap in overall dollars.