It’s only natural for teams to accentuate the positive after a trade in order to instill some confidence in their fanbase, but this is a little much.
According to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said the following when asked about the pending blockbuster trade with the Dodgers.
“Hopefully this deal will go through today. If it falls into place, the deal sheds us from tens of millions of dollars of long-term commitments. It gets us great prospects who will improve our major league roster as soon as next year. It brings us a player in James Loney who was ‘untouchable’ a couple of years ago. It allows us to start over with free agents. We want to win for our fans and we now have huge financial flexibility to improve the team.”
Yes, the same James Loney who has four home runs in 359 plate appearances this year and hasn’t posted an OPS higher than .756 since he appeared in 96 games as a 23-year-old in 2007. I’m pretty sure Brandon Wood and Lastings Milledge were untouchable back then, too. When are they coming to Fenway?
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.