The free-agent dam is slowly beginning to break, as Eric Hosmer, Andrew Cashner, Jason Vargas and Tony Watson have all agreed to multi-year deals in the past five days, while Eduardo Nunez, Jaime Garcia and Chris Tillman have all come off the board on one-year pacts. J.D. Martinez, though, remains available as the top bat on the market despite a lack of obvious suitors for his services outside of the Red Sox and D-backs. Here’s the latest chatter on the slugger…
- Drellich tweets that he, too, hears a deal between the Sox and Martinez is near, adding that Dombrowski would not comment on the matter.. Piecoro tweets that the D-backs are also under the impression that Martinez is going to the Red Sox, and they’ll need to find a replacement for him.
- The Red Sox and Martinez are now “moving close to a deal,” tweets Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. There’s nothing finalized yet, he adds, noting that details on the pact remain unclear at this time.
- Martinez and the Red Sox are still negotiating as of this afternoon, reports Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston. Chairman Tom Werner deferred questions on the matter to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, Drellich writes, noting only that, “Obviously, there’s no news,” at this time. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, meanwhile, tweets that the door for a deal between Boston and Martinez remains open but adds that the team’s interest isn’t going to be indefinite. The Red Sox, according to Abraham, are “prepared to move on entirely or to another player” if they reach the point where they feel there’s no compromise possible with Martinez. Logan Morrison has been reported to be a possible fallback option for the Red Sox if they move on or if Martinez signs elsewhere.
- “I don’t think we’re done by any means right now,” D-backs CEO Derrick Hall told reporters on Monday (via Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic). Hall said he’d be “surprised” if his team’s roster didn’t change before Opening Day, noting that GM Mike Hazen is looking both at free agency and the trade market. Hall said he entered the offseason hopeful of having an “outside chance” at retaining Martinez — a nod to an expected level of demand for his bat that never seems to have fully materialized. The D-backs’ new television deal, increased revenue from a playoff season and the $50MM BAMTech payout are all cited by Hall as reasons that ownership has taken the 2018 payroll to new heights. It’s not clear based on his comments, though, how strongly he believes Martinez can be fit into the mix. Hall did cite a history of getting “creative” when it comes to retaining/acquiring players about whom they feel strongly. “It’s time to finalize that roster one way or the other, if we are going to improve, which I believe we are,” said Hall.