CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Marlins have signed No. 2 overall pick Tyler Kolek to a $6 million bonus. The terms were first reported by Jim Callis of MLB.com.
Kolek actually signed for $821,000 under the slot value for the pick, so the Marlins have extra draft pool money to use elsewhere, but Callis notes that it’s still third-highest bonus ever for a high school pitcher. Brady Aiken, who was selected No. 1 overall by the Astros this year, and Pirates prospect Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon each received $6.5 million.
Checking in at a sturdy 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Kolek is an 18-year-old right-hander out of Texas who is best known for his 100 mph fastball. Not surprisingly, he still has some work to do with his command and secondary pitches, but the upside is immense.
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.