According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Sun, Orioles President Andy MacPhail putting his hitters on notice. Produce, or get sent down:
“While you can give them some allowance for the quality of pitching that
we’ve faced, our patience isn’t inexhaustible. There is going to come a time where we’re going to be obligated to keep
making changes in terms of offensive personnel, and they’re going to get
the opportunity to head to Norfolk and hone their swings
because they’re not doing anything to help us now . . . It’s not a suicide pact. They either have to start performing or they’ll
go to Norfolk.”
This applies to basically everyone, it would seem. Luke Scott stinks so far this year. So does Adam Jones. And Nolan Reimold. Cesar Izturis has been a special brand of stank as well.
This just can’t happen on a team that was supposed to be OK-to-possibly-frisky on offense but still developing in the pitching department. When guys simply aren’t doing what they should be expected to do you’re left with little choice but to send someone down or throw a bag of bats into the shower or something.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.