Jayson Stark reports what the Padres’ continued success in the standings is making inevitable: Adrain Gonzalez — once thought to be the plum of this year’s trade deadline pie — isn’t going anywhere, so teams have basically given up even asking the Padres about him.
Makes sense. It’s one thing to disappoint your fan base by trading your big star when you’re losing, but doing so when you’re winning is positively unthinkable. I hate to be as cynical as this, but I wonder if there hasn’t been one or two conversations among Padres’ officials that start out with “you know, winning is totally awesome, but man this makes it harder to build for the long term . . .”
Winning aside, Stark reports that the Padres are still willing to shop Heath Bell. That also makes sense inasmuch as a Certified Closer can be created pretty easily these days. Winning or not winning, a team can stand to give up a relief pitcher if the price is right. Even one as good as Bell.
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.