June 2, 1986
Officially ending his Hall of Fame career about six months after MLB owners did it for him, Rod Carew announced his retirement. A victim of collusion after the 1985 season, Carew failed to get any suitable offers for what would have been his age-40 campaign. Nine years later, he’d be awarded $782,000 in damages for his lost wages.
Carew finished his career hitting .280/.371/.345 in 127 games for the Angels in 1985. It was the only one of his 19 seasons in which he wasn’t named to the AL All-Star team. On Aug. 4, 1985, he became the 16th player in major league history to reach 3,000 hits. He ended his career at 3,053.
Carew hit .328/.393/.429 with 92 homers and 1,015 RBI in 12 seasons with the Twins and seven with the Angels. He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1967 and its MVP in 1977, when he hit .388/.449/.570 and drove in 100 runs for the only time in his career. He ended up winning seven batting titles and finishing first in the AL in the OBP four times. Both the Twins and the Angels retired his number 29.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.