I loved the Twins lineup for this afternoon’s game. It came through about as well as I expected it to do too: they struck out 15 times and basically everyone kept their sunglasses on the whole time because, ow,my head. The Indians beat ’em 5-2 to pick up their 100th win of the season.
The Chicago Cubs clinched yesterday too. And, despite the fact that they had seven more hours to rest up before their game than the Twins had for theirs, they’re trotting out quite a special lineup too. No Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Willson Contreras, Ben Zobrist, or Jason Heyward. Alex Avila is your cleanup hitter. Behold:
Here’s hoping Kyle Hendricks doesn’t have a $500,000 incentive clause in his contract for getting eight wins 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.