Stadiums across baseball are observing a moment of silence this evening to honor the 19 firefighters who lost their lives yesterday while battling a wildfire near Yarnell, Arizona. The tragedy was the deadliest single incident for U.S. firefighters since September 11, 2001.
The Diamondbacks are miles away from their home state tonight while playing in New York, but they honored the memory of the fallen firefighters by hanging a “19 Yarnell” jersey in the visiting dugout at Citi Field. The Mets made the very same gesture.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times notes that the Diamondbacks will wear black jerseys for their next home series, which is set to begin this Friday against the Rockies.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.