Andy Pettitte’s return has everyone excited. Well, almost everyone.
When reached for comment, Phil Hughes, who may be ticketed to the pen or to the minors as a result of the Pettitte signing, offered the classically passive-aggressive “is what it is.” Though to be fair it was surrounded by some more diplomatic noises.
But there was one guy who was a bit more obviously peeved: Freddy Garcia.
As we mentioned on Friday, Garcia is likely the odd man out in the Yankees pitching plan. And Garcia seems particularly underwhelmed, bordering on grumpy, about the idea of Pettitte being back in pinstripes. From Marc Carig’s report in the Star-Ledger:
“I don’t really care,” Garcia said, when asked about Pettitte’s return. “That’s their decision. I’m here to pitch and that’s what I want to do.”
When asked if Pettitte’s addition was good for the team, Garcia threw his hands up, seemingly exasperated by the turn of events.
“I don’t know man,” said Garcia, who like Hughes a day before, gave a lukewarm reaction. “Ask the people. I don’t know. I guess …You play with the Yankees, nothing surprises you.”
Garcia’s exasperation is perhaps understandable. But given how much love there is for Andy Pettitte in both the fan base and in some quarters of the New York sporting press, he’s not going to win any popularity contests if he’s noticeably angry about this.
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.