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.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.
Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.
With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.