I am a much older and wiser man than I used to be and thus I no longer make a big fuss out of the actual vote tabulations when it comes to awards voting and that sort of thing.*
But some things are confusing, such as how Ian Kennedy got a first place vote for the NL Cy Young Award.
Not to slam Kennedy. Not to make a federal case out of it. Just noting that Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee all had, by just about every measure, a better year than Kennedy did and that Kennedy’s lone first place vote certainly seemed like an outlier. And when you see an outlier like that, it’s natural to want to know who cast it.
An Arizona guy, maybe? A bit of a homer vote? It’s happened before.
Not this time, though. The Kennedy voter was John Maffei of the North County Times near San Diego. Maffei doesn’t have a column up explaining his vote — voters certainly aren’t obligated to do so — but it does seem like a strange one.
*Note: this sentence will be deleted prior to the week-to-ten days I spend raging about the Hall of Fame voting.
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.