Big news day for former Mariners closers who saved, like, 65-70 games for Seattle back in the day. First David Aardsma retires, and now Tom Wilhelmsen gets signed by the Padres to a minor league deal.
Wilhelmsen was once pretty effective in Seattle, but he put up a mediocre 4.44 ERA with a 17/12 K/BB ratio in 26.1 innings of work in Arizona last year. They designated him for assignment and then the Brewers picked him up, but he never made an appearance for Milwaukee. His issue: a plummeting strikeout rate in recent seasons after averaging nearly a strikeout per inning several seasons ago with the Mariners.
Still, in an age when it seems like the only players who get signed are relievers, it’s not shocking that someone took a chance on Wilhelmsen.
The Red Sox reportedly inked free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez to a five-year, $110 million contract last Monday, but there appears to be a slight hitch in the process. According to a report from Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston, the team is sorting through a medical issue that has delayed the signing. The specific nature of the issue has yet to be revealed, though Drellich adds that both the team and agent Scott Boras have involved additional medical experts in the process.
For what it’s worth, Martinez remained fairly healthy during his 2017 run with the Tigers and Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old outfielder spent six weeks on the disabled list after suffering a right foot sprain during camp, but managed to make a full recovery by mid-May and didn’t relapse once throughout the rest of the year. Of course, the medical issue holding up his new contract could be of an entirely different nature.
While spring training is already underway for the rest of the Red Sox, club manager Alex Cora doesn’t appear too concerned by Martinez’s absence — yet. “The thing I can do is my thing,” he told MLB.com’s Ian Browne. “My job here is to show up every day and get ’em ready.”