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As free agency looms, J.D. Martinez hires Scott Boras

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Outfielder J.D. Martinez has hired agent Scott Boras just ahead of his impending venture into free agency, WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports.

This should come as no surprise. Coming off of a career year, Martinez is the top free agent bat on the market and he stands to negotiate a lucrative contract wherever he goes. Between the Tigers and Diamondbacks this season, he hit a composite .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances.

The D-Backs acquired him on July 18 from the Tigers and Martinez’s bat really started to heat up. In 62 games in Arizona, he smacked 29 home runs and helped lead the D-Backs to a 39-30 finish, ultimately snagging home field advantage in the Wild Card game against the Rockies, which they won.

Other hitters on the free agent market include Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Jay Bruce, Carlos Santana, Justin Upton, and Zack Cozart.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.