The hot stove has been set to a low setting as the baseball world migrates back from the Winter Meetings in Olrando, Florida. But at least one free agent is still feeling the heat.
Aaron told you a few hours ago that the Red Sox had made an official contract offer to catcher Russell Martin. According to George King III of the New York Post, the Yankees have now done the same and want to make him their starting catcher.
Martin would probably have to battle for playing time in Boston with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek. In New York he’d have a better shot at starting every day while Jesus Montero continues to marinate in the minor leagues and Jorge Posada takes most of his at-bats out of the DH role.
Buster Olney of ESPN.com is hearing that the Red Sox are the favorite to land Martin, but he might be attracted to the more frequent looks that the Yanks can provide. Especially if he has real plans to turn his career around. Remember, this is the same guy that was handed All-Star nods in his sophomore and junior MLB seasons before a hip injury threw everything off.
The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.