The finalists for the 2018 awards voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America were revealed on Monday. Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez was not among the three finalists for the American League Most Valuable Player Award. His teammate, Mookie Betts, as well as Mike Trout and José Ramírez were. The winner will be revealed on Thursday, November 15.
Scott Boras, Martinez’s agent, thinks his client was snubbed, per Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio. Boras said, “Every voter should be brought publicly into a forum and be taken to task for their negligence.” Boras also said, “There’s a complete breach of understanding of the value of the player.”
Boras is almost certainly just making a stink to draw more eyeballs to Martinez’s numbers this past season: a 1.031 OPS, 43 HR, 111 runs, 130 RBI (best in the majors). Martinez can opt out of his current contract after the 2019 or 2020 seasons. Making his 2018 production memorable is a small way Boras can add more leverage on behalf of his client if he goes in search of a new contract. It might make the difference between an exec focusing on Martinez’s age or his gaudy numbers. Boras is banking on the media picking this up and running with it based on his outlandish claims. Boras is well aware that 1B/DH types have found less and less success in free agency as front offices have integrated analytics to a greater degree. This is the kind of stuff that makes Boras such a successful agent.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.