Brewers GM Doug Melvin on Ryan Braun: “We can move forward starting tonight”

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Brewers general manager Doug Melvin addressed Ryan Braun’s suspension prior to tonight’s game against the Padres. While he expressed disappointment about losing Braun for the rest of the season, he also said that the organization is looking forward to putting the matter behind them. Adam McCalvy of MLB.com has the quotes:

“Every year is challenging, but this has always been a cloud over the ballclub, not knowing what’s going to happen. There was a lot of speculation out there; you read about it, you hear about it. I didn’t have any idea what was going on. I only knew what I read in the paper the next day. So you move forward and you play each day as it comes. I am glad, and I think as an organization we are happy that Ryan, the union and the Commissioners Office have all put their heads together and made a wise decision for baseball and for us, the organization.”

The Brewers have struggled through injuries and underperformance this season and currently sit in last place in the NL Central at 41-56. Having Braun around for the rest of the year may have resulted in two or three more wins, but it wouldn’t have made them a contender. Now that Braun has accepted the suspension, the Brewers will have some peace of mind headed into 2014. All things considered, Melvin is happy about that.

“Yeah, I think it’s very important. We can move forward starting tonight,” Melvin said. “We’ll have someone else here tomorrow and we’ll try to win as many games as we can. It’s been a disappointing year for Ryan with his injuries, but with this behind us now, I think it gives us a much better focus for the offseason and what we can do.”

Braun, who turns 30 in November, signed an extension with the Brewers in April of 2011 and remains under contract through 2020.

Report: Red Sox, J.D. Martinez close to a deal

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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.