Seattle has been shopping closer David Aardsma since the middle of last season and recent reports suggested they were looking for “an impact bat” in exchange for the 29-year-old right-hander, but today’s announcement that he needs surgery to repair a torn hip labrum ruins those plans.
Aardsma is scheduled to go under the knife Monday and could be recovered by the end of spring training, but the surgery rules out a trade before then and most teams will likely want to see him in action for a while prior to reconsidering a deal.
It’ll be interesting to see if the injury impacts Aardsma’s arbitration case, as he earned $2.75 million in 2010 would have been in line for a raise to at least $4 million after saving 31 games with a 3.44 ERA. The surgery may increase the chances that the two sides will settle before a hearing.
Update (5:16 PM ET): ESPN’s Pedro Gomez is reporting that the deal is final.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.