The Astros and Red Sox are scheduled to play Game 4 at 1PM Eastern today. It’s an open question as to whether the game will start on time, however. For that matter it’s an open question as to whether it will be played at all. The forecast looks foreboding.
According to Weather.com, there’s a 30% chance of showers beginning at 1PM. At 2PM it’s up to 78% and is around 85% between 3PM and 4PM. There’s a greater than 50% chance of rain between then and 9PM.
Tuesday’s forecast in Boston looks much better, so if this game gets banged, the clubs could play on what was to be a travel day. Houston leads the series 2-1, of course, so if they do play on Tuesday and Houston wins, they’re not traveling anyplace.
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.