Yahoo!’s Tim Brown reports that it’s a “done deal”: the Dbacks have offered their GM job to Kevin Towers and Towers has accepted. The new law students among you are obligated to note that, yes, there was consideration as well: a two-year contract, with “some option provisions.”
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that interim GM Jerry DiPoto, who was a co-finalist for the job, may stay on with the team in some other capacity. While guys who are stepped-over tend to move on, it may be wise for DiPoto to hang around given that his candidacy for the job was based on the team’s familiarity with him, not because he was seen as some hot property in baseball executive circles. Best to apprentice a couple more years with Towers and then try to parlay that into a top job down the road, methinks.
Anyway, this is great pickup for Arizona. While things didn’t end well for Towers with San Diego from a won-loss perspective, he did much to assemble the team that is now winning there. He frequently put together much better Padres teams than could have been expected given their payroll, and his ability to find good pitching at discount prices will serve the Diamondbacks well.
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.