After finishing second in the AL Central, the Detroit TIgers came into the offseason as sellers. They’ve shown they’re willing to trade their veteran stars, as we’ve seen Ian Kinsler, Francisco Rodriguez, and even Miguel Cabrera. The name that has come up the most, though, is J.D. Martinez.
Martinez has been linked to the San Francisco Giants, and in a recent report from Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, the Philadelphia Phillies.
Martinez broke out in 2015, slashing .282/.344/.535 with 38 homers and 102 RBI in 657 plate appearances. He did more of the same in 2016, hitting .307/.373/.535 with 22 home runs in only 517 plate appearances. Thus, making his value higher than ever.
He is under contract in 2017, and will make $11.75 million in his last year of a two year deal, making him a free agent in 2018. That means, unless the team who acquires him signs him to an extension, he is only a short term option.
The Giants may only be looking for a short term power bat in left field, especially is there are as, “comfortable,” with Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker as they say they are. The two youngsters struggled last year, so they may bring Martinez in give that veteran power and let them develop, considering the team didn’t get much power out of Williamson, Parker, Angel Pagan, and Gregor Blanco in left field last season.
The Phillies, too, are only looking for a short-term bat, as Morosi reported. They acquired Howie Kendrick from the Dodgers earlier in the offseason, so they may be looking at Martinez to provide the power that Kendrick won’t, and have Kendrick come off the bench as he starts to age a bit.
The Mets had also been linked to Martinez prior to re-signing Yoenis Cespedes.
With the slim free-agent outfield market, Martinez is one of the better names out there, and a team may give up a lot to get his short term power.