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Report: Red Sox need J.D. Martinez to finalize 2018 plans

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Free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez hasn’t decided where he wants to land in 2018, and his lingering indecision appears to be causing the Red Sox no shortage of anxiety. Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports that the club expects to make a serious run at the outfielder this offseason, to the point where they’re actively holding off on addressing other needs in order to ensure they have enough room to accommodate him on their payroll.

On one hand, they’re wise to wait. A previous report from USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale suggests that Martinez is seeking a seven-year, $210 million contract this winter, which doesn’t seem to have scared away the four or so teams who have already inquired about him over the last month. The 30-year-old slugger can justify his hefty asking price with some pretty impressive numbers, too: he batted .303/.376/.690 in 489 plate appearances for the Tigers and Diamondbacks last year and collected a career-best 45 home runs to boot.

While there’s no denying Martinez’s appeal, at least at the plate, the Red Sox’ wait-and-see attitude might also cost them depth at other positions. Mastrodonato points out that the club has yet to address their need for left-handed relief options with Tyler Thornburg’s status still up in the air, and should they miss out on Martinez altogether, their spending power could be limited to the few choice relievers still left on the market.

Royals acquire Brian Goodwin from Nationals

Brian Goodwin
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The Royals have acquired outfielder Brian Goodwin from the Nationals, the teams announced Sunday. The Nationals received minor league right-handed reliever Jacob Condra-Bogan in the deal.

Goodwin, 27, was working through his third campaign with the Nationals in 2018. He saw limited playing time in the outfield (mostly due to the trifecta of talent the club already had in Bryce Harper, Adam Eaton, and Juan Soto), and finished the first half of the season with a .200/.321/.354 batting line, three home runs, three stolen bases and a .674 OPS in just 79 plate appearances. The Royals, who appear thin on compelling center field options at the moment, are expected to utilize him on a more frequent basis once he’s added to the active roster.

The 23-year-old Condra-Bogan has yet to break into the majors with any team so far. He got his start in pro ball in 2017 with the independent Washington WildThings of the Frontier League and issued three runs, three walks and 15 strikeouts over 15 1/3 innings before signing on with the Royals as a free agent. This season, he pitched to an impressive 2.08 ERA, 0.7 BB/9 and 13.5 SO/9 through 26 innings in Single-A Lexington before getting transferred to High-A Wilmington for a single appearance. The Nationals have not announced where he’ll be assigned for the remainder of 2018.