David Ortiz says Pedro Martinez will pitch again

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A report yesterday said the Mets aren’t interested in signing Pedro Martinez, but the 38-year-old future Hall of Famer is definitely planning to pitch for someone this season. At least according to his friend David Ortiz, who told the New York Post: “He will. Somebody will need him at one point. At some point.”
Ortiz spoke to Martinez about a month ago, at which point he was working out in the Dominican Republic and Miami but “wasn’t really talking to” any MLB teams yet. The assumption has been that re-signing with Philadelphia would be Martinez’s first choice after he went 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA in nine starts for the Phillies last year.
However, they may not have a rotation need this time around if J.A. Happ returns soon from a forearm injury. Of course, with all their bullpen issues perhaps the Phillies would consider signing Martinez for the rotation with an eye toward bumping Happ back into a relief role.
Based on what he showed in the second half last season Martinez definitely looks capable of helping contending teams as a mid-rotation starter, so it could come down to how picky he’ll be choosing a team and how demanding he’ll be when negotiating a prorated contract. Or it might just come down to whether or not the Phillies are interested again.

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

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The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?