If the Sox decide to shop relief pitchers, the Dodgers are interested

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers would be interested in a handful of Red Sox relievers should they be made available, including Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller, Burke Badenhop and Craig Breslow.

Not surprising, as the Dodgers have one of the worst bullpens — at least by ERA — so far this season. Relief pitching tends to be the most commonly traded and most commonly sought-after commodity at the deadline, of course, so it’s not like they’ll have the field to themselves. The Tigers, Blue Jays, Angels, Reds and Braves are just some of the many contenders looking to shore up their relief corps this summer.

As for Boston: while trading John Lackey may not seem like a wise idea given that there is every reason to think Boston will contend next year, Uehara, Miller and Badenhop are all potential free agents. And bullpens are a lot easier to rebuild in relatively short order than starting rotations. Dealing one or more of them may be a way for the Sox to turn a lemon of a season into lemonade.

 

Cardinals shut down Carlos Martínez for two weeks due to shoulder issue

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.

Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”

Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.

Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.