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.
With last Wednesday’s start against the Yankees, Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma pushed his 2016 innings total up to 2016. That clears the 162-inning hurdle for his 2017 option to vest at $14 million. However, as Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports, the language in Iwakuma’s contract also stipulates that the right-hander finish the season without suffering a specific injury.
Iwakuma, 35, was in agreement with the Dodgers on a three-year contract back in December but failed the physical, which nullified the deal. He ended up signing with the Mariners on a one-year, $12 million deal with a full no-trade clause and club options for 2017 and ’18 that vest at specific inning thresholds (162 each or 324 for both seasons).
This season, Iwakuma has stayed healthy, making 26 starts to the tune of a 14-9 record, a 3.81 ERA and a 118/36 K/BB ratio in 163 innings.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki deposited a single to left-center field in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Mets, then added a double to center field in the eighth. Those mark hits No. 3,010 and 3,011 for Suzuki in his major league career, tying and then moving past Wade Boggs for sole possession of 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list.
Suzuki would come around to score on a double by Xavier Scruggs to break a scoreless tie in the eighth.
Here’s the video of Ichiro’s first hit.
By the end of the season, Suzuki will have presumably moved ahead of Rafael Palmeiro (26th; 3,020) and Lou Brock (25th; 3,023).
Suzuki was 2-for-4 after the double. With baseball’s fifth month nearly complete, the 42-year-old is currently batting .298/.371/.373.