The hot stove has been set to a low setting as the baseball world migrates back from the Winter Meetings in Olrando, Florida. But at least one free agent is still feeling the heat.
Aaron told you a few hours ago that the Red Sox had made an official contract offer to catcher Russell Martin. According to George King III of the New York Post, the Yankees have now done the same and want to make him their starting catcher.
Martin would probably have to battle for playing time in Boston with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek. In New York he’d have a better shot at starting every day while Jesus Montero continues to marinate in the minor leagues and Jorge Posada takes most of his at-bats out of the DH role.
Buster Olney of ESPN.com is hearing that the Red Sox are the favorite to land Martin, but he might be attracted to the more frequent looks that the Yanks can provide. Especially if he has real plans to turn his career around. Remember, this is the same guy that was handed All-Star nods in his sophomore and junior MLB seasons before a hip injury threw everything off.
Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove is done for the year after suffering an abdominal wall muscle strain and stress reaction in his pelvic bone. While he isn’t expected to undergo surgery or miss additional time in 2019, he’s been prescribed six weeks of rest before resuming any baseball-related activities.
Musgrove, 25, finished out his third year in Pittsburgh with a 6-9 record in 19 starts, backed by a 4.06 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9. Despite logging a career-high 115 1/3 innings at the major league level, he’s also been dogged by a string of injuries, from the shoulder strain that robbed him of eight weeks at the start of the season to an index finger infection that kept him sidelined for a minimum 10-day stay on the disabled list in June.
While he works his way back up to full strength yet again, rookie right-hander Nick Kingham is expected to cover for him and will make a spot start during the Pirates’ series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t started a single game for the team since August 1, and currently carries a 4.69 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 over 71 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.