Along with the Diamondbacks (his current team), the Giants, Angels, Cardinals and Red Sox all stand out as potential offseason fits for impending free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez, Jon Morosi of MLB.com writes. While the Cardinals and Red Sox already have logjams in the outfield, a trade could open up room for Martinez, notes Morosi, who adds that whether the Angels pursue the offensive superstar is going to depend on Justin Upton’s opt-out decision. The Giants, meanwhile, are in dire need of a slugger and a corner outfielder, making them arguably the most logical match for Martinez, Morosi opines.
- Outfielder Randal Grichuk has come up as someone the Cardinals could trade, and the 26-year-old realizes he may have played his last game in their uniform. On whether he expects to be a Redbird in 2018, Grichuk told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com: “No. Not necessarily. But who knows. Anything is possible. It’s going to be a fun offseason. It’s going to be an interesting offseason to see what direction the club goes with a lot of guys. I’m excited to see what the future holds.” Grichuk has registered decent production across 1,386 career plate appearances in St. Louis (.249/.297/.488, .239 ISO) and put up back-to-back 20-home run seasons, but a lack of plate discipline has somewhat offset his impressive power and made him a trade candidate. Grichuk is projected to earn $2.8MM in 2018, his first of three arbitration-eligible seasons.
- After Twins pitchers recorded the majors’ third-worst swinging-strike rate in 2017, team brass is hoping to build a staff capable of missing more bats, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press details. At the same time, the Twins aren’t ruling out having some pitch-to-contact types on hand. In fact, even though closers Matt Belisle and Brandon Kintzler (now with the Nationals) generated fewer swings and misses than the average reliever this season, the club’s interested in re-signing the former and reuniting with the latter in free agency, according to Berardino.
- For the second straight offseason, the Rockies will have to work on shoring up their bullpen, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post observes. The Rockies signed Greg Holland and Mike Dunn to sizable contracts last winter, but Holland’s now set to opt out of his deal and head to the open market again. Colorado probably won’t be able to re-sign the closer, Saunders writes, and the fact that Holland isn’t the team’s only key reliever who could exit in free agency only worsens matters. Jake McGee and July trade acquisition Pat Neshek are also unsigned entering the offseason. Holland, McGee and Neshek were among the best options in a bullpen that made big strides from 2016 to ’17, jumping from 23rd in fWAR to sixth and last in ERA to 20th.