My friend Michele has a son named Whitaker who is into baseball. Really into baseball. Like, I can’t tell you how much he’s into baseball. He plays on a traveling team called the Central Ohio Saints. Go to that link. Of the two tall kids, he’s the one on the left. By the way: he’s 12, so yeah, he’s gonna totally be starting at first base for the Reds around the time Joey Votto retires. Or, I dunno, as you can see, he pitches too, so maybe he’ll be CC Sabathia.
The upshot: baseball is really a big deal for Whitaker and you’re probably gonna see that kid get drafted some day.
He’s also a huge Reds fan. Billy Hamilton is his favorite player. His mom is an MVP, though. Here’s the note that she sent with him to school today:
That’s right. “An appointment with Mr. Redlegs.” His mom is bailing him out of school so he can go to a party with his teammates to watch the Reds game at 4pm.
Mom of the Year.
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.