There were four teams interested, but Wily Mo Pena couldn’t get a major league deal after the Diamondbacks decided to part ways with him. Instead, he signed with the Mariners on Wednesday, agreeing to a deal that would allow him to head back out into free agency if he isn’t called up in September.
Pena hit five homers in 46 at-bats before being let go by Arizona earlier this month. Unfortunately, that came with just four singles and a 19/0 K/BB ratio, leaving him with an incredible .196/.196/.522 line. Prior to that, he hit .363/.439/.726 with 21 homers in 237 at-bats for Triple-A Reno.
If Pena gets off to a good start for Tacoma, he might be called on to replace Jack Cust in Seattle. Cust struck out three more times today and is hitting .213 with just three homers in 225 at-bats. He’s fanned 87 times.
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.