V-Mart has passed his physical and is now officially a Detroit Tiger. Deep thoughts:
- I don’t like the “first initial, first few letters of the last name” nickname construction like “V-Mart,” but I do wish that someone named “Sam Martinez” would become a big star so I could call him S-Mart;
- If only they had done this two days ago before the Red Sox had offered him arbitration then the Tigers wouldn’t have to give up a first round pick. Or, I suppose the Sox could have just offered it earlier. Maybe double-secret deals and offers would help us out here;
- The Tigers may be pretty darn tough in the AL Central next season. I don’t think they’ll stay tough over the length of Martinez’s contract, but they’ll be good next year.
LAS VEGAS — Jim Bowden reports that the Kansas City Royals are close to agreement with outfielder Billy Hamilton. He says they are “just working through bonuses and pending physical.” Hamilton was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds a couple of weeks ago following six seasons with the club, making him a free agent.
Hamilton is one of the fastest men to ever play the game, but he has never come around as a hitter. In his six seasons with the Reds he put up a line of .245/.298/.333 (OPS+ 70). While he has stolen 277 bases over that period, getting caught 63 times, he has never once led the league in steals, primarily because he just doesn’t get on base enough. He is an excellent center fielder, but the bat is so sub-par that even the glove and the wheels are not good enough to justify going to arbitration with him.
Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He will certainly bring some excitement to Kansas City. He’s a fun guy to watch play.