I mentioned a little earlier how the Angels have a bit of a logjam of hitters after signing outfielder Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million contract this week. Per Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and Sirius XM radio, plenty of teams are already trying to take advantage of the team’s surplus.
After missing the entire 2011 season following a freak leg injury in 2010, Morales batted .273/.320/.467 with 22 home runs, 73 RBI and a .787 OPS over 134 games this past season. The 29-year-old is set to get a raise in arbitration from the $2.95 million base salary he earned in 2012 and can become a free agent next winter, but he could be a pretty nice fit with teams who are looking to fill a void at DH or first base.
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.