There may still be a reason to pay attention the Marlins over the final two months of the season, as Giancarlo Stanton’s return from right knee surgery is just around the corner.
According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, Stanton expects to begin a minor league rehab assignment Wednesday with High-A Jupiter.
Stanton underwent surgery on July 8 to remove loose bone and cartilage fragments from his right knee. He believes he’ll need about four or five rehab games in anticipation of a possible return on August 10 against the Dodgers when the Marlins begin a six-game homestand.
Stanton, 22, is hitting .284/.364/.554 with 19 home runs, 50 RBI and a .919 OPS in 80 games this season. The Marlins are 4-11 since his last game on July 7 and have traded Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante during his absence. We could see more deals before Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
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.