This is pretty funny. Tom Singer of MLB.com reports that Ernesto Frieri and Jason Grilli — the relievers who were swapped between the Angels and the Pirates late last week, ran into each other in a bathroom in O’Hare Airport while traveling to their new teams:
“I’m waiting for my next flight, so I just went to a bathroom to wash my face. First thing, I look at this guy washing his hands next to me,” said Frieri, “and I thought, ‘I think I know this guy.’
“I looked again, and he’s looking at me and goes, ‘Really? Well, I guess this is when we get to meet each other.'”
I often think about the logistics of guys changing teams or being called up from the minors to the majors. How do they get their stuff together so quickly. Who calls them with the ticket logistics and all of that. It never really occurred to me that, a great deal of the time, guys being traded for one another are stopping over at O’Hare or Dallas or Atlanta or someplace at the same time.
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.