Raimel Tapia

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J.D. Martinez is drawing interest from Rockies, Diamondbacks

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that both the Rockies and Diamondbacks have expressed interest in Tigers’ outfielder J.D. Martinez. With just $11.75 million remaining in his contract before he hits free agency in 2018, the hot-hitting corner outfielder appears likely to be dealt sometime before the deadline, though Morosi notes that trade talks aren’t serious just yet. The Dodgers, Cardinals and Royals are also rumored to be in the running for Martinez’s services, each with a notable gap to fill in the outfield and at the plate.

Martinez, 29, is in his fourth run with the Tigers. He’s two years removed from his most valuable season, during which he produced 5.0 fWAR and slashed .282/.344/.535 with 38 home runs. He managed to maintain a .300+ batting average in 2016 and is chasing that with another .300+ average, 15-homer performance this year. A sprained Lisfranc ligament in his right foot kept him out of commission for the first few months of the 2017 season, but he appears to have made a full recovery, bouncing back with an impressive .306/.384/.622 batting line, 15 home runs and a 1.006 OPS through his first 224 PA of the year.

The Diamondbacks are in desperate need of outfield depth after losing left fielder Yasmany Tomas, who was hit with a mild right groin strain several weeks ago and is expected to be unavailable through the end of the month, if not longer.  The Rockies, on the other hand, aren’t hurting for outfield depth with Carlos Gonzalez, Gerardo Parra, Raimel Tapia and Ian Desmond at the corners, but could use another boost at the plate as they try to hang onto a wild card spot down the stretch.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Happy Birthday, America.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Brewers 8, Orioles 1: Chase Anderson went to the DL and Brent Suter took his place in the rotation. The former is not ideal but the latter worked out OK here, as Suter allowed only one unearned run on four hits in six innings, striking out eight. Manny Pina singled in one and doubled in two. Travis Shaw homered but he had to leave the game after getting hit on the wrist with a pitch.

Nationals 3, Mets 2: Steven Strasburg tossed seven shutout innings, allowing only two hits. After Max Scherzer‘s dominant start on Sunday, one can’t help but envision an early 2-0 hole for any team unlucky enough to face Washington in the playoffs. Of course, that irresistible force will have to meet the unmovable object that is the Nats’ inability to win a playoff series, so I guess we’ll see. If they do blow a series lead it’ll be because of the bullpen, which blew yet another ninth inning lead here, allowing a Curtis Granderson homer to tie it up. Ryan Raburn bailed the Nats out, however, by delivering a walkoff RBI single.

Yankees 6, Blue Jays 3: Masahiro Tanaka was dominant for seven innings. Chase Headley drove in three, with two coming on a double and one coming via a bases loaded hit-by-pitch. New York had a run walked in with the bases loaded in the same inning. Things were all beer and Skittles for the Yankees until the ninth when Aroldis Chapman allowed two runs on three hits in a non-save situation.

Phillies 4, Pirates 0: Nola beats Nova, with Aaron tossing seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out eight while Freddy Galvis and Maikel Franco each hit two-run homers off of Ivan.

Cardinals 14, Marlins 6: Luke Voit, which sounds like a name you make up on the spot when the cops catch you breaking into a sporting goods store, hit a homer as the Cardinals romped. Miami starter Jeff Locke gave up 11 hits and 11 earned runs in two and two-thirds innings of work. Which made it OK that Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright gave up six runs in the fifth inning. Wainwright also drove in two with an RBI single, so we’ll take a couple of those off his tab.

Red Sox 7, Rangers 5: The Red Sox had a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth and Craig Kimbrel on the mound. That’s usually automatic, but here Mike Napoli took him deep to send this one to extras. Andrew Benintendi hit a single with the bases loaded, driving in two, in the top of the 11th inning, helping the Sox to their fifth straight win. Dustin Pedroia had three hits and four RBI and was intentionally walked to bring up Benintendi. That loaded the bases and caused the Rangers to play their infield in, which in turn allowed Benintendi’s bloop hit to fall, just beyond the infield dirt. Strategy, man. Sometimes it’s just not worth it.

Twins 9, Angels 5Max Kepler knocked four hits, including a home run, driving in three. Adalberto Mejia allowed three runs over seven innings of work. Joe Mauer went 2-for-4 with a homer. Also, this happened:

Nice to see Rod Carew back on his feet again. The Twins and Angels legend had a heart and kidney transplant back in December.

Rockies 5, Reds 3: Rockies left fielder Raimel Tapia hit a double, triple and homer on a 3-for-4 day and Jeff Hoffman allowed three runs over seven innings. Hoffman also doubled in Tapia in the second inning. Those two had it covered yesterday. Bud Black on Tapia’s night:

“Stand-up triple . Stand-up double. Stand-up homer. Tonight was `Tap Time.”

That sounds like I sound when I’m intentionally trying to embarrass my kids. The rookie Tapia probably rolled his eyes pretty hard. Or, like my kids did to me, set up an Instagram account specifically to make fun of Black.

White Sox 7, Athletics 2: Carlos Rodon struck out ten in six and a third innings of work in his second start of the season. Todd Frazier backed him with a two-run double that put the Chisox ahead to stay early in this one. Oakland has lost six in a row.

Royals 3, Mariners 1: Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon each hit homers and Ian Kennedy allowed one run while pitching into the seventh.That was Moustakas’ 23rd homer of the season. His previous career high was 22, set in 2015.

Rockies continue extension talks with Carlos Gonzalez

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The Rockies are still working on an extension offer for Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado GM Jeff Bridich says (via ESPN’s Jim Bowden). The 31-year-old outfielder is one season away from polishing off the seven-year, $80.5 million contract he signed with the Rockies in 2011, but both sides appear amenable to working out a longer deal to keep him in Colorado.

Despite losing some of the power that fueled his 40-homer campaign in 2015, Gonzalez slashed an impressive .298/.350/.505 in 2016, racking up 25 home runs, 100 RBI and a career-best 42 doubles. The Rockies have plenty of options in the outfield corners, including Gerardo Parra, David Dahl, Raimel Tapia and Jordan Patterson, and while Gonzalez remains one of the most potent left-handed bats in the lineup (among many lefties), his trade value could supersede his potential contributions on the field.

Extension rumors surfaced as early as November, but the club’s initial suggestions were thought to be well under Gonzalez’s asking price. Should the two sides find themselves unable to cross that chasm, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman thinks it’s likely that the team will push for a midseason trade before the outfielder hits free agency in 2017.