The funny thing is that if Boston had offered him an extra $1 million, he’d likely be playing for the Red Sox right now.
Martin, who chose instead to try to resurrect his career with the Yankees last winter, told ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand, “I hate the Red Sox.”
“Anything to get the Red Sox out would be awesome for me,” he said one day before the teams square off in a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.
Martin couldn’t isolate exactly why he feels as he does.
“I guess it just comes with the territory,” Martin said. “When you wear the pinstripes, you just kind of learn to be that way.”
Maybe. But if Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and CC Sabathia hate the Red Sox, they sure have done a good job of covering it up. Mostly it seems like the best players on both teams have great respect for the best on the other, perhaps with some exceptions pertaining to Alex Rodriguez, Josh Beckett and Joba Chamberlain.
The Red Sox and Yankees were the finalists for Martin’s services last winter after he was let go by the Dodgers. The Red Sox opted to stick with Jarrod Saltalamacchia after Martin took the Yankees’ $2.5 million offer, and it’s worked out quite well for both teams. Red Sox catchers are fourth in the AL with a .743 OPS this year, while Yankees catchers are eighth at .716. Martin himself is hitting .236/.323/.404 in 406 at-bats.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.