Victor Martinez wants to stay, but just how badly is an open question:
“A lot of guys like to be free agents, but I’m going to be really honest on this answer. I don’t want to be jumping around, I don’t want to go somewhere else.”
“As soon as the season starts, I don’t want to be talking about numbers
or be talking about something that can distract me from the game and
distract my teammates. That’s the last thing I want
with this great team they’ve put together. Maybe, who knows, they come
to me in spring training with something. Honestly, I’m all open now until the season starts. As soon as the season starts, I barely talk to my mom.”
Martinez is 100% genuine about not liking disruption — he was basically in tears when the Tribe traded him last year — but at the same time, if security and certainty is what he’s after, how can he simply shut off all negotiation after the season starts? Doing so would create more uncertainty for him, not less.
I understand that a lot of players don’t want to negotiate during the
season, but how much of that is about avoiding distraction
and how much of that is a leverage thing?
In other news, dong a Google Image Search for “Victor Martinez” brings back unexpected results.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.