There was significant movement Saturday in Major League Baseball’s divisional and Wild Card races.
The Yankees failed to capitalize on several scoring chances, falling 3-2 to the Blue Jays. The Orioles, meanwhile, bested the Red Sox by a score 4-3. There’s now a tie atop the American League East.
The Tigers rode another fine outing by Justin Verlander to a 6-4 win over the Twins and the White Sox lost 10-4 to Tampa Bay. Detroit has a two-game lead in the American League Central standings with four games to play.
In the National League, the Cardinals lost 6-4 in extra innings to the Nationals and the Dodgers blanked the Rockies 3-0. Los Angeles is suddenly just two games back for that second Wild Card spot.
It’s all setting up for a dramatic finish. Wednesday marks the end of the regular season.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Yankees 2, Blue Jays 3
Rays 10, White Sox 4
Tigers 6, Twins 4
Mariners 4, Athletics 7 (10 innings)
Angels, Rangers (Postponed)
Red Sox 3, Orioles 4
Reds 1, Pirates 2
Astros 5, Brewers 9
Mets 0, Braves 2
Royals 7, Indians 6 (14 innings)
Phillies 9, Marlins 5
Nationals 6, Cardinals 4 (10 innings)
Cubs 2, Diamondbacks 8
Giants 3, Padres 7
Rockies 0, Dodgers 3
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.