Probably a good thing given that Bud Selig appears to have designated Rob Manfred as his chosen successor, but in case anyone gets any idea, no, Joe Torre does not want to be Commissioner of Baseball:
“If they had asked me to do something for the game, I certainly would listen, but I have no aspirations to be commissioner, based on my age. I’m very comfortable working there. I’ve got a significant job. I don’t have a great deal of stress, job-wise in my life and that feels good.’’
Not gonna happen, of course, and I don’t think Torre would be the best guy for the job anyway. But it is something that even asking that question is plausible. Torre was a player, a manager (and a player-manager) and a league executive. I can’t think of anyone — at least anyone recently — who can say they’ve filled up all of those squares on their bingo card. Bill White came closest, I suppose, but rather than managing he went via the broadcaster’s route before becoming N.L. President.
Joe Torre: renaissance man. Who knew?
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.