Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera homered again as he continues to inch closer to the AL home run lead, and subsequently another Triple Crown. The homer, a two-run shot off of Mets starter Dillon Gee in the first inning this afternoon, marked #42 on the season, leaving him four shy of Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, the current leader.
Cabrera leads Davis in runs batted in, 128 to 118 and has a sizable lead in batting average over Mike Trout, .360 to .328. Should Cabrera successfully pass Davis in home runs by the end of the season, he would become the third player to win multiple Triple Crowns, joining Rogers Hornsby (1922, ’25) and Ted Williams (1942, ’47). He would be the first to win two in consecutive seasons.
Behind a solid start by Rick Porcello, the Tigers brought a 4-3 lead into the top of the ninth inning before exploding for seven more runs against Mets relievers LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Atchison. With the win, the Tigers maintain their six-game lead over the Indians in the AL Central.
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.