Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that J.D. Martinez has received a five-year offer from the Boston Red Sox and that Eric Hosmer has a seven-year offer from the San Diego Padres.
There are no numbers attached to these offers. That, the fact that neither of them has, signed yet, and the fact that both of these guys are represented by the same agent — Scott Boras — makes me suspect that the offers are low and that Boras is trying to drum up another bidder. Which is not to say that the offers don’t exist or anything. I suspect they do, as both the Red Sox and Padres have had longstanding reported interest in Martinez and Hosmer, respectively. I just find it interesting that they came out in the same report like this.
The Sox definitely need a middle-of-the-order bat like Martinez and, given that they recently signed Mitch Moreland to an extension, would seem like the best fit. The Padres have made no secret of their desire to make a big splash with someone like Hosmer, and current first baseman Wil Myers has said that he’d gladly move to the outfield to make room.
No deals sound close, but perhaps these reports — even if it’s just posturing in the media — are the beginning of a free agent market thaw.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.
The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.