Rob Neyer takes a road trip in the leadup to the SABR convention every year. On that road trip he and a couple of his friends visit the graves of baseball greats and play a game of catch. It’s pretty cool. One of these years I’m going to arrange my life in such a way that I can join them.
This year, however, Rob and his friends found something a bit sad: Josh Gibson’s gave was somewhat neglected. They cleaned it up and all seems right. But the experience did cause Rob to reflect on an idea he has about what the Hall of Fame might do to prevent this sort of thing happening in the future.
Go read Rob’s story for both his pictures of Gibson’s final resting place and Rob’s wonderful, although, I fear, extremely hard to pull off idea.
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.