Astros cleanup hitter J.D. Martinez was pulled early from last night’s game. When asked why Martinez was pulled, manager Bo Porter said this:
Porter was asked following the Astros’ 3-0 loss to the Mariners if Martinez, who was hitting cleanup for the first time this year, had been injured, and he told reporters to ask Martinez what happened.
“That was a manager’s decision,” Porter said. “You go ask him why he didn’t finish the game. I’m actually interested in what he’s going to tell you.”
Go read Martinez’s answer. It sounds like a combination of scolded child and pre-Seppuku samurai. The upshot: he didn’t follow the hitting approach discussed pregame and popped out on a first pitch swing. But there was definitely a “yes sir, may I have another?” element to it all.
Which, hey, whatever works. It’s good to see that Porter has his young hitters thinking about approaches to at bats and stuff. That said, it’s weird to see these kinds of teaching moments in the major leagues. That’s where the Astros are, though.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Red Sox have made an offer to free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez in the range of five years and $100 million. Martinez is believed to be seeking a deal closer to seven years and $180 million. Given how slow the free agent market has moved this offseason, however, Martinez may end up having to lower his expectations.
Martinez, 30, is considered the top free agent hitter and has been linked to the Red Sox throughout the offseason. Last year, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, Martinez hit .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances.
Martinez has expressed his desire to continue playing in the outfield. However, the Red Sox are spoken for there with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, Jr., and Mookie Betts. They would need to move someone from the outfield to the bench (or, perhaps, to first base or DH) to facilitate Martinez’s wishes.
Last week, it was reported that Martinez is believed to be willing to remain unsigned going into spring training in order to get what he is asking for. Most of the top free agents remain unsigned as we inch closer to February.