Robinson Cano is back in the Mariners’ starting lineup tonight after missing the past four games with a stomach virus followed by a bruised hand. And what do you know? They’re playing the Yankees, in New York.
Cano’s lack of power has drawn some headlines two months into a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Mariners, but looking beyond his two home runs he’s hit .327 with a .371 on-base percentage. Combined during his final five seasons with the Yankees he hit .314 with a .369 on-base percentage.
One interesting note about Cano’s four-game absence: Seattle initially turned to last year’s starting second baseman, Nick Franklin, to fill in, but then went with veteran utility man Willie Bloomquist for the past two games. Franklin has hit just .128 with an ugly 21/3 K/BB ratio since being called up from Triple-A.
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.