Yoenis Cespedes exited Friday’s 4-2 win over the Nationals with a right hamstring strain, one that general manager Sandy Alderson says is as severe as his last one. He’s expected to be placed on the disabled list and has not been given a concrete timetable for recovery, though it isn’t too much of a stretch to imagine that he could miss the rest of the 2017 season.
Cespedes suffered the injury after running the bases in the first inning of Friday’s series opener. He tried to score from second on Dominic Smith’s single, but started hobbling as he ran from third base toward home plate. When the umpires nullified the RBI after determining that the ball struck second-base ump Andy Fletcher, Cespedes was removed from the game.
There’s no question that the Mets have been through the wringer when it comes to player injuries this season, and while they’re in no position to make a run at the postseason in September, losing Cespedes is still a tough blow. Prior to Friday’s injury, the left fielder carried a .292/.350/.540 batting line, 17 home runs and an .890 OPS through 320 PA in 2017. This will be his second stint on the disabled list after missing 43 days with hamstring tightness earlier this year.
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.