Because of U2 — who, if you try hard enough, can be blamed for most of what has happened for the past 25 years or so — the Marlins/Mariners series, originally scheduled for Sun Life Stadium in Miami this weekend is being played in Seattle. But, as was the case when the Blue Jays/Phillies got moved to Citizens Bank Park last year, the out-of-town team will be the home team.
And heck, maybe the Mariners will feel more like the road team anyway. This series was supposed to be part of an east coast swing for them, so their travel schedule breaks down like this: Philly, Washington, and then back to Seattle to face the Marlins and Braves. The Marlins’ travel plans are less jerky. They were at home in this last series against Anaheim, but they were going to be heading out west to face Oakland in the series that starts on Tuesday anyway. With their day off yesterday — which the Mariners didn’t get — their travel was much less taxing.
Still, I don’t know that it’s enough of a handicap to make up for the fact that Marlins have to play a “home” series several thousand miles from home. In order to even things up more, I believe that the Mariners players should have to stay in a hotel in downtown Seattle, while the Marlins get free run of the Mariners’ players’ homes, cars and whatnot.*
*The whatnot is negotiable on a family by family basis and really is none of our business.
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.