With B.J. Upton off the market, things are starting to heat up with free agent outfielder Angel Pagan. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com has the scoop:
The Philadelphia Phillies, after losing the B.J. Upton sweepstakes to the Atlanta Braves, are pushing for another free-agent center fielder, according to major-league sources.
Two teams have made four-year offers to Pagan, sources say. Those teams are believed to be the Phillies and Pagan’s previous club, the World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
Rosenthal hears that the Phillies made a five-year, $55 million offer to Upton before he signed with the Braves for five years and $75.25 million and the sense is that Michael Bourn is going to fetch more. While four years for Pagan is a lot, signing him as opposed to Bourn would give the Phillies some flexibility to upgrade at third base and in the bullpen.
The Giants are clearly interested in bringing Pagan back, but it would be interesting to see what they do if the bidding gets out of hand. Bourn and Josh Hamilton are going to be very pricey, so Brian Sabean might have to get creative here. Hey, did you guys hear that Andres Torres is a free agent?
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.