Russell Martin
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Blue Jays trade Russell Martin to Dodgers

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Arash Madani is reporting that the Toronto Blue Jays are trading Russell Martin to the Los Angeles Dodgers. No word yet on the return. It is presumed, however, that the Blue Jays will be eating a good portion of Martin’s $20 million salary for 2019.

Martin, who will turn 36 next month, played in 90 games last year and hit .194/.338/.325 with ten homers. This year will be the last year of the five-year, $82 million deal he signed with the Blue Jays. In Los Angeles — where he started his career back in 2006 — look for him to be a backup catcher and, if recent form holds, an occasional fill-in at third base, and a clubhouse guy.

UPDATE: The Dodgers are sending two minor leaguers to Toronto: starting pitcher Andrew Sopko, who had a 3.52 ERA, 2.1 BB/9, 9.3 K/9 in 117.2 IP between Double-A Tulsa and Hi-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2018, and shortstop Ronny Brito, who posted an .841 OPS with 11 HR in 244 PAs with Rookie Level Ogden.

Donald Trump wants Curt Schilling in the Hall of Fame

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We’ve talked a lot about Curt Schilling’s Hall of Fame candidacy over the years.

Bill has argued that, if voters are going to use the character clause to keep certain players out, they should keep Curt Schilling out. I’ve differed on that, not because I think Schilling is a good person — he’s loathsome, actually — but because I find the character clause to be illegitimate and would never, if I had a vote, use it to impact my vote. So, yes, I’d put Schilling on my ballot if I had one.

I’m not alone in this, of course. At the moment Schilling has support on about 72% of ballots which have been made public. My guess is that he’ll fall a tad short when results are announced tomorrow — non-public ballots tend to include fewer players on them — but we’ll see.

I am not the only non-BBWAA member who would vote for Schilling. He’s got some top level support too. From the President of the United States:

Ballots had to be submitted by December 31, so it’s not like this is gonna have any impact on the vote totals. If it came earlier, though, one wonders if it would. And one wonders if that’d help Schilling or hurt him.