The Tigers are close to a deal with catcher Victor Martinez on a four-year, $50MM contract, reports Ignacio Serrano of El Nacional (link in Spanish). Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports confirm the report, saying a final decision is expected Friday or Saturday. Serrano says Martinez accepted the Tigers' offer, and there will be a deal barring an unforeseen event.
According to Serrano, Martinez turned down a four-year, $48MM offer from the Orioles and a three-year, $48MM offer from the White Sox. That White Sox offer would have been tough to reject, so we'll see if someone confirms it.
Though the Red Sox hoped to re-sign Martinez, they can take solace in receiving the best available draft pick as part of their compensation. The Tigers must surrender their #19 draft pick next year to the Red Sox, unless Detroit also signs Jayson Werth later.
Martinez fulfills the Tigers' need for a middle of the order bat, and as a switch-hitter he can provide protection from the left side. If the Tigers stick with their plan of using Alex Avila often at catcher, Martinez could see most of his time as a designated hitter and backup first baseman.