While the Angels’ baseball people are said to have moved on from the idea of keeping John Lackey around, owner Arte Moreno is not letting go:
Club officials had all but decided to part with Lackey during the
team’s organizational meetings at the end of the regular season,
according to multiple major-league sources.
But Moreno, after
watching Lackey pitch well in his three postseason starts against the
Red Sox and Yankees, decided that the Angels should renew their efforts
to sign him, the sources said.
What I said just an hour ago about owners making baseball decisions notwithstanding, the best argument for letting Lackey walk is financial, not competitive. Since Arte Moreno holds the purse strings in Anaheim, his interest in keeping Lackey trumps all. If he’s willing keep Lackey in the fold without sacrificing the team’s other needs — like, say, a cleanup hitter — more power to him.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.