Jon Heyman tweets that Trevor Hoffman wants to pitch in 2011 if someone will give him a chance to close.
My first thought: what’s with him and Edgar Renteria? One ended 2011 on top, and the other ended 2011 well enough — 600th save! — to make everyone forget how much of a train wreck his year was, so why not just ride off into the sunset? The future is way more likely to hold an Apollo Creed/Ivan Drago beatdown for those guys than it is to hold a return to All-Star form.
My second thought — and it wasn’t my thought: Gleeman told me I was being too hard on Hoffman based on his second half numbers — is that things could theoretically work out for Hoffman. While all of those early-season blown saves caught our attention, his second half — a 2.66 ERA in 20.1 innings with 13 strikeouts, six walks and 15 hits — was decent work. Decent enough to be worth a middle relief job, I’d say. If we wants one and would be willing to take middle relief money, that is.
But as a closer? If Heyman is right and that’s Hoffman’s prerequisite for returning, we’ve likely seen the last of him, because I can’t think of a team that would take that chance.
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.