The red-hot Jacoby Ellsbury was unavailable today with an ankle injury and it showed. Drew Hutchison and Aaron Sanchez combined for a one-hit shutout in a 2-0 win over the Yankees this afternoon at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Hutchison was dominant in the victory, facing five batters over the minimum over his seven innings of work. He struck out nine, walked two, and hit two batters. The lone hit was a double by Mark Teixeira in the fourth inning. Rookie right-hander Aaron Sanchez took over in the eighth and retired all six batters he faced with three strikeouts for his first career save.
Jose Bautista provided the only offense of the afternoon with a two-run homer off Michael Pineda in the first inning. He has now gone deep in four straight games and has 28 homers on the year.
The win moves the Blue Jays back to one game over .500 at 68-67. The loss dropped the Yankees to 70-64 on the year, putting them three games back for the second Wild Card spot in the American League.
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.