J.D. Martinez has been an incredible source of power for the D-backs, slugging 18 homers in just 173 plate appearances with his new team. There’s mutual interest between the two sides in extending their relationship beyond the 2017 season, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, though there are clear challenges that stand in the way of that possibility. With Zack Greinke, Yasmany Tomas and Paul Goldschmidt already under contract in 2018 plus an enormous arbitration class (A.J. Pollock, Robbie Ray, Jake Lamb, David Peralta, Shelby Miller, Chris Owings, Patrick Corbin, Taijuan Walker, Randall Delgado, Andrew Chafin), Arizona is already likely to approach or replicate 2017’s Opening Day payroll of $103MM. Martinez suggested that he’d prefer to sign with a winning team rather than a rebuilding club that offered more money, while GM Mike Hazen (without mentioning any possible payroll constraints) said he wouldn’t rule anything out. That said, with a five-year deal looking firmly plausible for Martinez this winter, it seems to me that a reunion between the two sides is a considerable long shot, as other contenders will surely be making lucrative offers as well.
Elsewhere in the division…
- Right-hander Matt Cain isn’t sure what the future holds for him, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. The former Giants ace and longtime rotation stalwart tells Shea that “being able to be a career guy (with one team) is something that’s dear to my heart.” Cain adds that he values the loyalty that the organization has shown to him over the course of his career and that he’d relish the chance to become just the fourth player to ever have spent at least 10 years in the Majors — all with the Giants. Cain, though, does not firmly rule out the possibility of continuing his career, even if it’s with another club. Giants fans will want to check out the full column, as it’s filled with anecdotes related to Cain’s legacy in San Francisco and features quotes from teammates Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey as well as pitching coach Dave Righetti, skipper Bruce Bochy and of course, Cain himself.
- Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias underwent shoulder surgery to repair his left anterior capsule earlier this season, and FanRag’s Jon Heyman writes in his weekly NL Notes roundup that the procedure actually went better than expected. Per Heyman, Dr. Neal ElAttrache anticipates a full recovery for the highly touted 21-year-old, although Urias still appears to be facing a significant layoff. Dodgers president of baseball ops Andrew Friedman said at the time of the surgery (in late June) that a rehab period of 12 months was expected for Urias.
- The progress of Colin Rea and Robbie Erlin, both rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, gives the Padres another pair of arms to add to next spring’s rotation battle, writes MLB.com’s A.J. Cassavell. Both pitchers joined the team in September (though not the active roster, to be clear) as they continue their rehab process. Erlin is facing live hitters and is throwing every fifth day, alternating between bullpen sessions and live batting practice. Rea, meanwhile, is up to five bullpen sessions and will keep throwing into mid-October before a six-week break. They’ll join any offseason additions as well as injured rotation hopefuls such as Matt Strahm, Christian Friedrich and Jarred Cosart in vying for starting jobs with the Friars next March.