For the second time in a week the Brewers have lost an everyday player to a torn ACL.
First baseman Mat Gamel will miss the remainder of the season after blowing out his knee on May 2 and now shortstop Alex Gonzalez has been diagnosed with a torn ACL suffered Saturday.
Season-ending surgery is likely, but the Brewers announced that Gonzalez will rest for a week before making an official decision. As a 35-year-old whose hitting isn’t good enough to keep him in the majors if his range and athleticism decline Gonzalez could be facing the end of his career.
Cesar Izturis will take over as Milwaukee’s starting shortstop and like Gonzalez his value is almost all dependent on defense, as the 32-year-old hasn’t topped a .650 OPS since 2004 and missed most of last season with elbow and groin injuries.
And at some point soon the Brewers will probably be in the market for a first baseman and a shortstop.
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.