The Tigers themselves are waiting to see how what general manager Al Avila calls “the J.D. Martinez situation” unfolds, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press writes. The Tigers are currently mired in third place at 29-32, but could potentially work their way more clearly toward contention, or out of it, over the next month. If they do find themselves leaning toward trading him, the quality of Martinez’s own play and his health are two more variables, along with which contenders want him and how badly. The Tigers could also keep him and collect a draft pick should he reject a qualifying offer, although they might stand to get more if they trade him this summer. Employees from other teams suggest the return for Martinez might not be spectacular, but it would be considerable. “Maybe the ‘1A’ prospect. Not the tip-top, but among the better group,” says an NL scout. “I’d happily give away our No. 2 and No. 4 prospect,” says a scout from the AL. Martinez has clearly established himself as a consistent power hitter, and his .297/.389/.714 line in 108 plate appearances since returning from a spring foot injury can’t hurt his stock. Here’s more from around the league.
- Cardinals lefty Marco Gonzales will make his first big-league appearance since 2015 in a start on Tuesday, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com writes. Gonzales made it to the Majors barely a year after the Cardinals picked him 19th overall in the 2013 draft, but he struggled in 2015 and missed the entire 2016 season after having Tommy John surgery. Now, after six mostly successful minor-league starts, he’s back.
- Mariners special assistant and former scouting director Tom McNamara says his club “got lucky” in finding righty Dan Altavilla out of Division II Mercyhurst University and taking him in the fifth round of the 2014 draft, David Laurila writes in his weekly notes column for FanGraphs. The Mariners had already seen Altavilla pitch in the Cape Cod League, but ended up taking him in part because of a coincidence of geography, as Altavilla happened to be pitching again a few miles from where Mariners officials were watching another game. “We were going to watch LSU versus Vanderbilt,” says McNamara. “It was (Aaron) Nola against (Tyler) Beede. Our scout who had Pennsylvania, Mike Moriarty, told us, ‘Hey, you know what? You guys could see the kid from Mercyhurst, too. He’s pitching at noon, and then you can go see the Vanderbilt game at seven o’clock. So we went.” Now, of course, Altavilla is a hard-throwing reliever in the Mariners’ bullpen.