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J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts likely to become free agents after 2019 season

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Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports that Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts and OF/DH J.D. Martinez are both likely to test free agency following the 2019 season. Bogaerts will naturally reach free agency while Martinez will likely choose to opt out what will be the remaining three years of his five-year, $110 million contract. Both are clients of Boras Corp.

As Drellich points out, Martinez and Bogaerts are likely to be joined in free agency by Rick Porcello and Chris Sale, so the Red Sox have some decisions to make. In fact, that’s exactly the phrase president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski used. He said, “You know you got Bogey in another year. Mookie, Jackie [Bradley, Jr.] in a couple years. So you got some big contracts. And we have great ownership, wherewithal. But still, everybody has some limitations too. So we have to make some tough decisions. But we’ll be prepared to keep a lot of our players, but I’m not sure which ones it’ll end up being as time goes on.”

Bogaerts, 26, is coming off of his best season, batting .288/.360/.522 with 23 home runs, 103 RBI, and 72 runs scored in 580 plate appearances. He also played terrific defense and ran the bases well.

Martinez, 31, is also coming off of a really strong season. He hit .330/.402/.629 with 43 home runs and 111 runs scored while leading baseball with 130 RBI. He did not finish in the top-three in AL MVP Award voting, but many felt he should have been up there.

Félix Hernández passes Don Drysdale on all-time strikeouts leaderboard

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Mariners starter Félix Hernández pitched well enough for a win on Wednesday afternoon, but Padres starter Chris Paddack was just a little bit better. Hernández allowed one run on three hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in the Mariners’ 1-0 loss. Paddack tossed seven scoreless innings on one hit and one walk with nine strikeouts.

With eight strikeouts on the day, Hernández passed Don Drysdale to move into 36th place on Major League Baseball’s all-time strikeouts leaderboard at 2,488. Max Scherzer currently sits in 35th place at 2,493. Christy Mathewson is Hernández’s next target at 2,507.

On the season, Hernández is now 1-2 with a 3.91 ERA and a 21/3 K/BB ratio across 25 1/3 innings. The 33-year-old had a rough 2017 and ’18, but the first-place Mariners are hoping he has something left in the tank. Hernández is earning $27 million this season and can become a free agent after the season.