When you fire your GM, you give his replacement carte blanche to burn it all down and sell everything off. You do that in the middle of the season when you actually have some useful relievers, you’re definitely gonna make some trades because everyone wants bullpen help in the middle of the year. That’s where the Padres find themselves right now. Even though they don’t yet have a replacement for the fired Josh Byrnes.
Jon Heyman reports that the Padres are receiving calls about Huston Street and Joaquin Benoit. Both of them are having excellent seasons, with Street posting a sub-1.00 ERA and Benoit doing almost as well. Each have closing experience and each would be attractive targets for contenders seeking help for the back end of the pen. Contract-wise, Street is making $7 million this season with a $7 million club option for 2015 and Benoit is making $6 million this season and $8.5 million in 2015 and a 2016 club option. Both of those represent relative bargains for closers these days and the deals are quite tolerable even if they’re used as setup men.
Heyman has the Tigers, Angels, Blue Jays, Orioles, Brewers and Marlins as possible landing spots for Street and Benoit. But really, almost any and every contender at least kicks the tires on bullpen arms in July most years.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.