From Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times comes word that the Yankees have included $1.4 million in performance-based incentives in their new one-year, $4 million contract with catcher Russell Martin.
Martin has already passed his physical with the Yanks and the deal is expected to be finalized by the end of this week.
The 27-year-old will start behind the plate on Opening Day in New York and will look to turn his career around in the hitter-friendly ballparks of the American League East. The Yankees will probably send catching prospect Jesus Montero to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at the start of the year. Jorge Posada will act as the club’s primary DH and backup catcher.
The Dodgers offered Martin a one-year contract with a base salary of $4.2 million before non-tendering him earlier this month. That deal contained up to $1.5 million worth of incentives, but he would’ve had to start 140 games to maximize all of it. He only has to start 120 games in pinstripes to maximize his potential $5.4 million salary.
With just over a month to go before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, trade rumors are beginning to crop up. According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, the Red Sox and Yankees have each reached out to the Marlins about infielder Martin Prado.
The Marlins enter play Wednesday 35-40 and in third place in the NL East. They are expected to continue to sell after trading shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Rays. However, as the club itself is in the middle of rumors with a handful of prospective new owners, major pieces like Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich probably won’t be moved until that is settled.
Prado, 33, is hitting .277/.299/.398 with two home runs and nine RBI in 87 plate appearances. He has played in only 21 games due to calf and hamstring injuries. When he’s healthy, though, he is typically productive and he can play all four infield positions as well as the outfield corners. Prado is under contract for the next two seasons as well, at $13.5 million and $15 million.
With either the Red Sox or Yankees, Prado would likely assume third base. The Red Sox have gotten a major league-worst .562 out of its third basemen while the Yankees have gotten a .678 OPS, 24th out of 30 teams.
The Cubs oddly made an extra visit to the White House on Tuesday. After winning the World Series, the team visited then-President Barack Obama — a Chicago sports fan — in January before he left office. But they went back today for an “informal” visit with President Trump.
The Cubs, however, have ties to the Republican party and to Trump. The Ricketts family are Republican donors and Cubs owner Tom’s brother Todd was Trump’s nominee for deputy secretary of commerce. Manager Joe Maddon is also longtime friends with Lou Barletta, the Republican representative from Hazleton, PA.
Some players chose not to join their Cubs teammates for a trip to the White House. 10 players, to be exact, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. None of those players declining to go offered a political reason, understandably so. But reliever Carl Edwards, Jr.’s excuse made a lot of sense. He said, “I’m trying to go see like the dinosaur museums.” Indeed, Edwards could have spent the afternoon at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
Other players declining to visit the White House included Jake Arrieta, Hector Rondon, Jason Heyward, Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm, and Addison Russell.