It’s Russell Martin Night here on Hardball Talk. Well, unofficially.
Martin has already drawn contract offers from the Red Sox and Yankees. Now the Blue Jays have also made an offer, according to Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger, and a darkhorse team has sent in a multi-year proposal.
Martin hit just .248/.347/.342 this past year for the Dodgers, but he’s still relevant because of his past success. And because he’s claiming to be fully healed from the hip problems that have bugged him for close to two seasons.
The 27-year-old backstop was named an All-Star in 2007 and 2008, batting .286/.380/.432 with 32 total home runs, 156 RBI and 39 stolen bases over the course of those two seasons. If he can come even close to that kind of production next year, he’ll be worth the risk.
The Yankees reportedly have interest in making him their starter while Jesus Montero gets a little more time at Triple-A. If they really want to execute that plan, a two-year offer might have to be made.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.