Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that a contingent from the Rangers flew to Arkansas yesterday to meet with Cliff Lee.
But wait! I thought he wasn’t listening! I thought he was in a duck blind somewhere, thinking about anything other than baseball. But I guess this is just arms race stuff, what with the Yankees having already sent Brian Cashman down. “Ha! You sent your GM? We sent a GM and two owners too!”
According to Andro the meeting lasted approximately two hours. I’m going to assume unless told otherwise that the entirety of the conversation was about how awful New York and their fans are.
And just wait: tomorrow we’ll hear reports from Lee’s friends talking about how it was odd that Brian Cashman wouldn’t accept Kristen Lee’s offer of sweet tea, and how Chuck Greenberg sat in “the good chair.” We, of course, will follow up with instant hot stove analysis of these critical developments.
Update (5:16 PM ET): ESPN’s Pedro Gomez is reporting that the deal is final.
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.