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Tigers and J.D. Martinez discussing one- and two-year deals

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Chris Iott of reported last month that the Tigers and J.D. Martinez were working toward a long-term contract extension and Martinez acknowledged at that time that he would “love to be a Tiger for life.”

But it appears those negotiations have been scaled back with a potential arbitration hearing looming. It would be the Tigers’ first arbitration hearing since 2001.

Martinez filed for $8 million and was offered $6 million when figures were formally exchanged on January 15.

FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi says the two parties are currently discussing one- and two-year deals. Martinez is arbitration-eligible for both 2016 and 2017, so neither of the proposals currently on the table would roll into his potential free agency. A two-year deal would simply cover those final two arbitration-eligible seasons.

Martinez appears to be betting on himself here — banking that his 2014 and 2015 were no fluke. Or maybe the Tigers really low-balled him in those initial long-term talks.

The 28-year-old outfielder led Detroit with 38 home runs and 102 RBI last season.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.