Stephen Strasburg’s final start at Nationals Park this season ended up being a brief one, as he was chased after giving up five runs over just three innings tonight against the Marlins.
Strasburg wasn’t fooling anyone, giving up six hits and three walks while striking out two. He threw just 37 out of 67 pitches for strikes. Rob Brantly and Giancarlo Stanton both connected for solo homers. Stanton also touched him up for an RBI double.
Strasburg tied the shortest outing of his major league career tonight, as he previously pitched three innings on June 30 against the Braves and last September 11 against the Astros in his second start back from Tommy John surgery. His ERA is now at a season-high 3.16 while he’s up to 159 1/3 innings on the year. The Nationals intend to shut him down for the season after his start next Wednesday against the Mets at Citi Field.
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.