From Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com comes word that the Diamondbacks have reached agreement on a two-year, $3 million contract with veteran utility infielder John McDonald.
McDonald batted just .169/.222/.203 in 63 plate appearances after joining Arizona in late August, but he’s still a capable defender at the age of 37 and will provide the Snakes with insurance at shortstop in case Stephen Drew (fractured ankle) isn’t back to 100 percent by Opening Day next April.
McDonald appeared in 26 games at third base, 21 games at second base and 38 games at shortstop during the 2011 season. He’s also seen time in the outfield in recent years.
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.