White Sox To Pursue Victor Martinez In Free Agency

The White Sox are preparing to make a run at Tigers DH Victor Martinez in free agency, Bruce Levine of 670TheScore.com reports on Twitter. Martinez, 35, is playing out the final year of the four-year, $50MM pact he signed to join Detroit before the 2011 season.

Chicago will have an opening for a veteran slugger with both Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko playing on expiring contracts. The pair has split duties at the DH position this year, but the switch-hitting Martinez would presumably occupy the role with just one roster spot. Of course, Dunn also provides something of a cautionary tale. He posted a .731 OPS over four years with the White Sox, which actually fell slightly below league average, making his $56MM deal a devastatingly poor investment given his lack of defensive flexibility.

Martinez, of course, proved a better investment than did Dunn, even though he no longer spends time behind the dish. Over three seasons in Detroit (he missed all of 2012), Martinez has put up a .318/.375/.479 slash with 52 home runs. He’s been even more impressive this year, bumping his line up to .327/.395/.555 and swatting a career-best 26 long balls.

In spite of his age, Martinez’s bat will obviously be enticing to many American League clubs. One major wild card remains whether or not he receives a qualifying offer from the Tigers, which could prove a particularly strong disincentive to teams that are not all-in on the immediate future. In that respect, of course, the White Sox represent an interesting suitor, as a move for Martinez would represent a signal that the team believes its contention window was opened.


53 Responses to White Sox To Pursue Victor Martinez In Free Agency Leave a Reply

  1. bobbleheadguru 10 months ago

    Of course he will get a Qualifying Offer. Then the Tigers will sign him at about 3/$48MM or so. He will give a reasonable home town discount to Tigers.

    • YanksFan4EverNamed_Nick 10 months ago

      Doubt it

      • JacksTigers 10 months ago

        Yeah I don’t see him giving a discount on his final big payday, but I also don’t see Detroit letting him go unless somebody offers a fourth year.

        • Ralph Esposito 10 months ago

          I doubt he gets a fourth year from anyone. Also, if he gets a Q.O. the Sox will look elsewhere IMO. They did it last year with Granderson. Though Sox had a protected first, we wouldn’t have drafted Spencer Adams otherwise. I could see Chicago going the route of cheaper free agents (less than 9 digits) to V-Mart or Markakis and bringing back Jake Peavy or a comparable righty like Jason Hammels or Edinson Volquez. Bullpen help also. I would like to see if J.J. Putz has anything left.

    • Ralph Esposito 10 months ago

      Tigers will have their hands full. I could see a Q.O., but that’s it. They have some larger pressing needs like replacing Max Scherzer and fixing that bullpen. They also have one of the worst farm systems which will force them to spend more. With soon to be unfriendly team contracts like Miggy and Verlander and one more season of Torii Hunter and most likely David Price, the window is closing soon.

      • Mr Pike 10 months ago

        They don’t have payroll problems. That was solved last winter.

      • tune-in for baseball 10 months ago

        Hunter is a FA next year, Price will be signed over the Winter. Bullpen will be healthy starting in 2015. The farm system has several quality infielders and a couple OF that will be major league ready in 2015-16.

        • Cam Hodgson-Dwyer 10 months ago

          Are you sure that David Price will sign an extension?

          I’m sure many thought the same about Scherzer, and he actually has a history with Detroit.

        • Ralph Esposito 10 months ago

          Guess again. Hunter is a free agent this year. So is Max Scherzer, Victor Martinez, Jim Johnson, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Coke and club options on Joakim Sofia and Alex Avila. Then arbritation 4 on David Price, Rick Porcello and Don’t Kelly. Keep in mind they owe a slowing down Miguel Cabrera $270,000,000 more and a struggling Verlander $160,000,000 more not counting his $22 million vesting option for 2020. That and a terrible farm system means either spending another near billion in free agents or rebuilding with two players alone making nearly $60 million a year.

      • $114759666 10 months ago

        Hunter and Max are gone next year, odds are they will try to extend Price and/or Porcello this off season.

  2. Tyler Claus Coners 10 months ago

    If Victor does sign with the White Sox, I’d resign Torii Hunter to be the DH and sign another right fielder. I might be wrong.

    • Andy Todd 10 months ago

      2014 Futures Game participant Steven Moya might just be the best internal option for the Tigers at the moment if they were to do such a thing. I’m not expecting him to burst out of the gates in 2015 with the starting job but Moya should definitely get a good look at during ST. 34 HR 102 RBI .853 OPS in 511 AA bats this season. Guy has some stuff. Could be a possibility down the line in 2015 depending on his numbers early on in AAA in 2015

      • Tyler Claus Coners 10 months ago

        Moya could help Detroit ALOT of he gets called up on the 1st. Last time I checked he was on the 40-man roster. I was expecting the Tigers to go after Melky Cabrera or Alex Rios in the off-season but Moyas performance in September (if he gets called up) goes well, tigers will give him a chance in 2015.

        • tune-in for baseball 10 months ago

          I am afraid Moya will be a strike out machine in the Majors till he learns some plate discipline . V Mart likes it in Detroit and will want to play for a World Series ring. Detroit will have as good a chance as anyone next year I don’t see the Tigers losing him. With his numbers this year and career, you could change the name “White Sox” with any of the other teams in the league. He has stated that he doesn’t see himself playing at 40, so a 3/39 to 3/45 mill contract would be a range.

    • YanksFan4EverNamed_Nick 10 months ago

      Mighy is starting to leak beat up tbh id sign a first basemen to take over

  3. TheCoronerCalled 10 months ago

    Could this be considered tampering? He’s still signed to another team, a division rival, at that.

    • kungfucampby 10 months ago

      Depends on if a member of the White Sox organization was on the record saying this. My guess is no.

    • James Flores 10 months ago

      Tampering really? You’ve been paying attention to NBA free agents too much

    • It’s only tampering if an White Sox exec came out and said they didn’t have any interest in him since that would theoretically hurt his value.

      It’s not really ethical for execs to comment on players under contract with other teams though. If this was a public statement, I think someone from MLB would say something.

  4. JacksTigers 10 months ago

    People are making more of this report than they should. Lots of teams will pursue Martinez, including Detroit.

    • bobbleheadguru 10 months ago

      Exactly…. I would think EVERY American League team should be interested.

  5. Andy Todd 10 months ago

    I’d like to see what V-Mart could pull on the open market. ChiSox would be an interesting option for sure. He’s a great hitter with some new-found pop but I’m not certain the Tigers would or should give QO, I mean despite his current AS season, his WAR is only 3.7 while his best ever seasonal WAR during his peak was 5.2 back in 2005! He realistically only has 2-3 seasons left, and I doubt he will replicate his 2014 numbers in the future.

    • JacksTigers 10 months ago

      He will have a higher AAV than a QO, so they will certainly give him one. If he accepts it, I’ll be shocked and floured.

      • YanksFan4EverNamed_Nick 10 months ago

        Expect in the area of 3-4 years in the 15-22 million range depending how desperate teams become

    • jb226 10 months ago

      “Only” 3.7 WAR. That’s like a top 50 player, who on the free agent market would expect something like an $18 million dollar per year contract. Of course he gets a QO.

  6. BigCelio 10 months ago

    This kind of rumbling sounds good. Sox/Hahn positioned to make a run at complimentary players to help Abreu, Ramirez, Eaton, and the young guys coming up (Garcia, Semien, and Johnson) I’d certainly like to add a Vmart or maybe even a Melky Cabrera…

    • Andy Todd 10 months ago

      Melky.. i like the way you think!

      • Ralph Esposito 10 months ago

        Sox may also go the trade route. According to Rick Hahn, they thought they had a deal on July 31st but the other team backed out two hours before the deadline. Rick said its a player they tried for in the past. I wonder if that player is Carlos Gonzalez? He would be a great fit batting fourth.

    • Ralph Esposito 10 months ago

      The Sox were close to signing V-Mart in the winter of 2010. Reportedly 4-$50 was the deal until his good friend Miggy called him and talked him into joining him in Detroit. Funny thing is the Tigers were pursuing Adam Dunn. Martinez signed with the Tigers and the Sox turned to Dunn. Except for 2012, Martinez obviously was the far better signing for less money even.

      • WillieWildkat 10 months ago

        I really don’t like the Sox tying down that much cash for a player with that much limited positional flexibility. While it’s welcome to see the Sox moving away from the failed rotate and rest rationale that contributed to the inglorious Kotsay and Keppinger social experiments, throwing that much cash at the declining years seems to cut against what Rick Hahn and the organization seem to be doing, which is getting younger and favoring positional flexibility, with the likes of swiss army knife Marcus Semien, and teaching Conor Gilaspie to fish in the OF. I’d like to see the Sox go in the direction of a rent-a-player at that position, which they did successfully back in the day with bargain basement signings of the likes of Julio Franco. If they can find a modern day equivalent of a Jermaine Dye, good bad but diminishing wheels at a discount, go for it. But they had too much in the pipeline to throw 500+ plate appearances at a one dimensional player, however impressive V-Mart has been

        • Antonio Nicarelli 10 months ago

          I can see it for just one roster spot. Right now it is three, with Dunn, Konerko, and Viciedo having a negative fielder WAR. If the $$ are okay, and with De Aza’s roster spot open, you could conceivably get both VMart and Melky. Then platoon Conor and Davidson at 3b, and suddenly the lineup ain’t so bad.

  7. scrand 10 months ago

    Another reason why I like it that the NL does not have the DH. It limits a quality batter like Martinez to only AL teams and gives the Tigers a better chance of resigning him. Money would be the only reason he would sign with the White Sox because he’s never going to the playoffs with that team.

    • WillieWildkat 10 months ago

      Not sure how you reach the dramatic conclusion that he’d never go to playoffs with “that team”. The White Sox future in 2015-2016 looks as bright, if not brighter, than an aging Tiger team weighed down by dubious long term commitments. Royals certainly seem to have the brightest short term prospects, but the AL Central should be wide open the next 3-5 years

  8. Tyler Claus Coners 10 months ago

    This doesn’t make any sense to me. Andy Wilkins has 30 HR’s in AAA right now. September could be his tryout (like I said about Steven Moya of the Tigers) to be that starting DH for the White Sox in 2015 and beyond. Could save alot of money.

    • Michael Kenny 10 months ago

      Wilkins is also about to be 26. He’s a non-prospect.

      • Manchershaw Engineer 10 months ago

        I swear, it’s like people don’t realize there are 4A players in every system. They shouldn’t publicize minor league statistics for this reason.

  9. gr8testsoxfan 10 months ago

    I rather see us take a shot at Cargo, maybe a package starting with Viciedo and E. Johnson gets it done, he’d look good hitting between Abreu – A . Garcia. If not I’d take a run at P. Sandoval and M. Cabrera. Sandoval would be perfect as he could slot in at third, play some DH and first and he’s a gamer not to mention a postseason monster. Cabrera would also be nice in left , his switch hitting bat would give us even more balance.

    • soxfan123123 10 months ago

      I hope you are kidding about that Cargo trade package.

    • bder19 10 months ago

      That package for CarGo doesn’t get it done, but I’m with you that there are a lot of other options at DH for the Sox. VMart has a significant age issue, especially considering he’d essentially be 40 at the end of any deal the Sox would need to sign him, but the Panda is too inconsistent and has the potential to be Dunn 2.0. Melky would be a nice add, but he would only sign if he started in left, not DH

  10. painhertz 10 months ago

    And the first thing you do is go and tell everyone what you’re planning to do? Way to bid against yourself.

  11. hozie007 10 months ago

    Victor is the hardest working DH in the league…he takes batting practice during the game between at bats….who does that? Switch hitter, great catcher and can handle 1st or 3rd periodically. He’ll easily get 4yrs / $64M with someone.

  12. Barry2 10 months ago

    Would the Mariners be interested in VMart to be there DH and back up at 1B? If their young players can come through they will be a team to watch.

  13. NRD1138 10 months ago

    Wow, if this happens it is another ‘back of the baseball card’ signing by the White Sox. Two words why this should not occur: Adam Dunn. I wish KW and Rick Hahn would stop getting free agents based on what they have done in the past 10 seasons as that is what got them in trouble with Dunn. At 35, Martinez likely only has a couple of years left in him, as catching has also taken its toll. Why overpay for a guy thaqt will be ineffective in a year or two?
    Also, just because a guy kills your club with their performance does not mean it will work out for you against your opponents (see David Wells and Albert Belle). To be honest, the Sox need a OF that bats lefty with some pop that actually can PLAY the OF. De Aza should have been gone about 4 months ago, and Viciedo has no business being in LF. He costs you more games with his lack of range and fielding than any hit he gets in a game. He should be DH and focus on doing nothing but hitting as I think focusing on improving his fielding skills has taken the bat from his hands.

    • Manchershaw Engineer 10 months ago

      There are no guarantees with older or younger players. That said, I’d bet on an older professional hitter that’s shown zero decline and zero problems since his last injury from a hitting perspective than anything the White Sox have in their current system. Victor Martinez might be the best DH in baseball right now, and he’s at least a decent bet to be that the next two years. At 35, it isn’t like he’s looking for a five year commitment.

      The Albert Belle thing is funny. People have bad memories. Belle regressed AFTER that deal due to a degenerative hip injury. Before that, he was a stud and put up probably the single greatest offensive season in White Sox history. He hit .328/.399/.655. He had 49 homers and 48 doubles. No. There was nothing wrong with Albert Belle the two years he played with the White Sox. Most fans are just sore he left.

      • NRD1138 10 months ago

        Only foolish GMs think that what the guy did for the past 10 years will translate for another 4 (See Jim Thome, see Dunn) and while Thome and Dunn had a a few big time hits for the Sox, most times they struck out, flew out, or popped up with runners in scoring position (not really good if you are a DH by the way) and hurt the team much more than helped it. What is next? Picking up Pujols or Hamilton’s contract?

        As for Belle, People were mad at the Albert belle signing because the owner of the White sox decided it would be a good idea to lock the players out due to salaries increase, then goes and pays the most expensive contract for a position player ever. Then he only has the one good season and I believe Frank was hurt most of that season so it was not like the ‘murders row’ that Reinsdorf envisioned. I’m not mad Belle left the WS, I’m glad he did.

        • Manchershaw Engineer 10 months ago

          Nobody is arguing giving Martinez a four year deal. He’s likely going to get a one or two year agreement. I’d take Martinez over the next two years over anything in the White Sox system at DH. They don’t have anyone with a ceiling as high as Martinez’s worst season.

  14. $114759666 10 months ago

    The Tigers would be insane to not make a QO to Victor, but then again, this is the team that let Polanco walk without a QO to play 3b for Philly for less than the Tigers paid Inge to do the same the next 3 seasons.

  15. Bill Couch 10 months ago

    The sox should be looking at pitching and a bullpen

  16. Daniel Morairity 10 months ago

    The rangers will sign this guy in the off-season because the rangers lack of dh this year is around .265 and that is terrible

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