One big free agent domino is about to fall, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Tigers are close to re-signing designated hitter Victor Martinez to a four-year contract.
Martinez initially joined Detroit in 2010 on a four-year, $52 million deal. Back then he was 32 years old. Now he’s 36 years old, but Martinez is also coming off a career-year in which he hit .335 with 32 homers and a league-leading .974 OPS.
Martinez had never topped 25 homers in a season previously and homered just 14 times in 159 games for the Tigers in 2013, but he’s a career .303 hitter with a lifetime .847 OPS.
Martinez ranked No. 8 on HardballTalk’s list of the top 150 free agents.
UPDATE: It’s a four-year, $68 million deal. So that’s $17 million per season through age 39. And that means the Tigers will be paying a 35-year-old Miguel Cabrera, a 35-year-old Justin Verlander, and a 39-year-old Martinez a total of $75 million in 2018.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reported this afternoon that the Phillies signed veteran reliever Drew Storen to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. If Storen makes the major league roster, he will earn a $750,000 salary.
Storen, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2017 with the Reds. That year, he posted a 4.45 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 23 walks over 54 2/3 innings. Storen then underwent Tommy John surgery, which cost him the entire 2018 campaign. He inked a minor league deal with the Royals last year but struggled in nine appearances with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, resulting in his being released in June.
Robert Murray reports that the Phillies have also signed pitcher Bud Norris to a minor league contract. The right-hander, who turns 35 years old in March, missed the 2019 season due to a forearm injury. Norris was last seen in the majors in 2018 with the Cardinals, compiling a 3.59 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 21 walks over 57 2/3 innings of relief.
The Phillies had major bullpen problems last year and haven’t otherwise made any new additions so far this offseason. They’re hoping Storen and Norris have a little bit left in the tank.