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.
I guess this came out the day he was elected but I missed it somehow: Larry Walker is going to have a Rockies cap on his Fall of Fame plaque.
While it was once solely the choice of the inductee, for the past couple of decades the Hall of Fame has had final say on the caps, though the request of the inductee is noted. This is done to prevent a situation in which a cap truly misrepresents history. This issue arose around the time Wade Boggs was inducted, as he reportedly had a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to pick their cap on his plaque which, to say the least, would’ve been unrepresentative.
There have been some mildly controversial picks in the past, and some guys who would seem to have a clear choice have gone with blank caps to avoid upsetting the fan base of one of his other teams, but Walker’s doesn’t seem all that controversial to me.
Walker played ten years in Colorado to six years in Montreal and two years in St. Louis. His numbers in Colorado were substantial better than in Montreal. His MVP Award, most of his Gold Gloves, most of his All-Star appearances, and all of his black ink with the exception of the NL doubles title in 1994 came with the Rockies too. Walker requested the Rockies cap, noting correctly that he “did more damage” in a Rockies uniform than anyplace else. And, of course, that damage is what got him elected to the Hall of Fame.
Still, I imagine fans of the old Expos will take at least some issue here. Those folks tend to be pretty possessive of their team’s old stars. It’s understandable, I suppose, given that they’ve not gotten any new ones in a decade or two. Add in the fact that Walker played for the 1994 Expos team onto which people love to project things both reasonable and unreasonable, and you can expect that the Expos dead-enders might feel a bit slighted.
Welp, sorry. A Rockies cap is the right choice. And that’s Walker’s cap will feature.