Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that both the Rockies and Diamondbacks have expressed interest in Tigers’ outfielder J.D. Martinez. With just $11.75 million remaining in his contract before he hits free agency in 2018, the hot-hitting corner outfielder appears likely to be dealt sometime before the deadline, though Morosi notes that trade talks aren’t serious just yet. The Dodgers, Cardinals and Royals are also rumored to be in the running for Martinez’s services, each with a notable gap to fill in the outfield and at the plate.
Martinez, 29, is in his fourth run with the Tigers. He’s two years removed from his most valuable season, during which he produced 5.0 fWAR and slashed .282/.344/.535 with 38 home runs. He managed to maintain a .300+ batting average in 2016 and is chasing that with another .300+ average, 15-homer performance this year. A sprained Lisfranc ligament in his right foot kept him out of commission for the first few months of the 2017 season, but he appears to have made a full recovery, bouncing back with an impressive .306/.384/.622 batting line, 15 home runs and a 1.006 OPS through his first 224 PA of the year.
The Diamondbacks are in desperate need of outfield depth after losing left fielder Yasmany Tomas, who was hit with a mild right groin strain several weeks ago and is expected to be unavailable through the end of the month, if not longer. The Rockies, on the other hand, aren’t hurting for outfield depth with Carlos Gonzalez, Gerardo Parra, Raimel Tapia and Ian Desmond at the corners, but could use another boost at the plate as they try to hang onto a wild card spot down the stretch.
San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey has opted out of the 2020 MLB season. The Giants have issued a statement saying that they “fully support Buster’s decision. Buster is an integral part of our team and will be sorely missed, but we look forward to having him back in 2021.”
Posey and his wife are adopting identical twin girls who were born prematurely and who are currently in the NICU and will be for some time. They are stable, but obviously theirs is not a situation that would be amenable to the demands of a baseball season as it’s currently structured. Recently Posey said, “I think there’s still some reservation on my end as well. I think I want to see kind of how things progress here over the next couple of weeks. I think it would be a little bit maybe naive or silly not to gauge what’s going on around you, not only around you here but paying attention to what’s happening in the country and different parts of the country.” He said that he talked about playing with his wife quite a great deal but, really, this seems like a no-brainer decision on his part.
In opting out Posey is foregoing the 60-game proration of his $21.4 million salary. He is under contract for one more year at $21.4 million as well. The Giants can pick up his 2022 club option for $22 million or buy him out for $3 million.
A veteran of 11 seasons, Posey has earned about $124 million to date. Which seems to be the common denominator with players who have opted out thus far. With the exception of Joe Ross and Héctor Noesí, the players to have opted out thus far have earned well above $10 million during their careers. Players that aren’t considered “high risk” and elect not to play do not get paid and do not receive service time.