The Rockies have interest in Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports (Twitter link). Colorado joins an ever-growing list of teams connected to the slugger, including the Royals, Cardinals, Dodgers and Diamondbacks, plus likely more clubs whose interest has yet to be revealed.
As Morosi notes, Martinez is particularly valuable in the NL West as a right-handed bat to counter the division’s many good southpaws, which explains why the D’Backs, Dodgers and Rox have checked in on the outfielder. Martinez, of course, is a dangerous bat anywhere — he carries a .306/.384/.622 slash line and 15 homers over 224 plate appearances this season, putting him on pace for his best year since breaking out as one of the game’s top hitters in 2014. Martinez will be a free agent this winter, though even as a rental player, the Tigers stand to obtain a big return if and when they trade the 29-year-old.
The Rockies seem like an odd trade match at first given their seeming surplus of corner outfield options: Carlos Gonzalez, Ian Desmond (just activated from the DL today), Gerardo Parra, rookie Raimel Tapia and possibly David Dahl as a late-season reinforcement off the disabled list. CarGo, however, simply hasn’t been himself this year, hitting just .215/.294/.330 with six home runs over 306 PA. Desmond and Parra have both missed time due to injury, and could be needed at first base since Mark Reynolds’ bat has drastically cooled off over the last month. Tapia and Dahl, meanwhile, would seemingly fit the model of talented young outfield prospects that could go to Detroit in a Martinez trade; the Tigers have reportedly had interest in the likes of the Astros’ Derek Fisher and the Dodgers’ Alex Verdugo in recent months.