It “would appear” the Red Sox will be involved in the chase for Diamondbacks outfielder J.D. Martinez if he hits free agency in the offseason, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. As Cafardo points out, there’s a connection between Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski and Martinez, whom the former plucked off the scrapheap when he was Detroit’s general manager in 2014. Now one of the premier hitters in the game, Martinez would provide some much-needed punch to a Red Sox club that’s lacking in the power department, though it’s unclear where he’d play in Boston. On paper, the Red Sox look set in the outfield for the next few years with Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fold.
More rumblings from Cafardo:
- Indians first baseman/designated hitter Carlos Santana is another free agent-to-be who’s likely to land on the Red Sox’s radar, per Cafardo, who also names the Mariners as a probable suitor. Considering their positions, the switch-hitting Santana would seem to be a more natural fit than Martinez for Boston, which has gotten subpar production at first from impending free agent Mitch Moreland this year. Meanwhile, Mariners first basemen ranked last in the majors in fWAR (minus-0.7) during the regular season. Their top option, Yonder Alonso, could depart in free agency, which may lead to a Santana pursuit.
- The Cubs could be a team to watch if the Marlins shop right fielder Giancarlo Stanton in the offseason, Cafardo suggests. It’s unclear whether the Cubs would have interest in the potential NL MVP, who’s due $295MM through 2028 (if he doesn’t opt out of his contract after 2020), but they have plenty of players the Marlins “would love” to acquire, notes Cafardo.
- Royals GM Dayton Moore will only head to Atlanta if the Braves give him complete control, according to Cafardo. That jibes with a previous report from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale and suggests that president John Hart would have to exit for a Moore-Braves union to come to fruition. Hart isn’t planning on leaving, however, Cafardo reports. Two members of the Nationals’ front office – assistant GM Doug Harris and the previously reported Dan Jennings – as well as ex-Red Sox GM Ben Cherington (now in Toronto) are on Hart’s radar as he seeks a replacement for John Coppolella, Cafardo relays.
- Yomiuri Giants right-hander Miles Mikolas is eyeing a return to the majors, and if he does opt out of his contract in Japan, it appears he’ll draw plenty of big league interest. Fourteen major league teams scouted Mikolas’ most recent starts, and there’s a belief among some that he could be a capable mid-rotation starter if he comes back, according to Cafardo. Mikolas, 29, logged 37 appearances (10 starts) with the Padres and Rangers from 2012-14 and recorded a 5.32 ERA, 6.1 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. He has been stellar with Yomiuri since 2015, though, with a 2.18 ERA, 8.0 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 across 62 starts.
- The Tigers decided before the season ended to part with manager Brad Ausmus, but he told Cafardo that he wouldn’t have returned “even if they had offered me a three-year deal.” Ausmus didn’t believe he was the right match for a Detroit team in the initial stages of a rebuild. On potentially managing someplace else, he said, “I’d have to study the situation and see if it was the right fit for me.”