Mark Feinsand of the Daily News passes along word that Russell Martin, though considering offers from the Jays, Yankees and Red Sox, is leaning towards accepting the Red Sox offer.
I assume the reason for this is that he thinks he has a better chance of getting playing time in front of Saltalamaccia and Varitek than he does beating out younger, more highly-touted prospects in Toronto and New York. It would be awesome though if he made some kind of statement about going someplace where they’re “committed to winning; like Boston.” I just feel like that would drive the New York tabloids nutty. All over Russell Martin.
It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.
That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.