On Wednesday night, Twins fans were White Sox fans. The Twins didn’t take care of their own business, falling to the Indians 4-2. But if the White Sox beat the Angels, they would clinch the second American League Wild Card slot.
The White Sox took a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning, but it was quickly erased by a Kole Calhoun three-run home run in the fifth. Andrelton Simmons hit an RBi single in the top of the sixth to give the Angels the lead back, and the White Sox promptly responded as Tim Anderson locked the game back up at four apiece with an RBI single of his own.
The game went into extra innings, but Nicky Delmonico ended the Angels’ postseason hopes and clinched them on the behalf of the Twins with a walk-off two-run home run to right field off of Blake Parker.
The Twins have become the first team to reach the playoffs the season after losing 100 games. Assuming the Red Sox win the AL East — they lead by three games — the Twins will face the Yankees in New York on Tuesday for the American League Wild Card game. The winner of that will play either the Indians or Astros.
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.