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Boston Red Sox offer five-year contract to J.D. Martinez

Your morning update for everything Blue Jays.

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Divisional Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three
JD Martinez of the Arizona Diamondbacks follows through on a swing during game three of the National League Divisional Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field on October 9, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox have offered a five-year contract to free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.

The Toronto Blue Jays were rumoured to have interest in Martinez earlier this offseason but have yet to make significant strides in talks. Martinez, who played 113 games in right field in 2017, could serve as a Jose Bautista replacement in Toronto.

In 2017, Martinez split time between the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks, hitting .302 with an on-base percentage of .366. He was worth 4.1 WAR, the third-highest total of his seven-year career to date. He has never been worth positive defensive WAR, perhaps making teams consider playing him as a designated hitter.

Martinez, represented by super-agent Scott Boras, would help boost a Red Sox offense that’s in clear need of improvement, especially considering the offensive improvements that the New York Yankees have made this offseason.

In other news, former Red Sox Will Middlebrooks is expected to sign a minor-league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweeted yesterday.

Since his last season in Boston in 2014, Middlebrooks has played for the San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers. In 2017, with the Rangers, Middlebrooks hit .211 in 22 games. He struck out 14 times in 39 plate appearances, walking once.

Former Tampa Bay Rays starter Alex Cobb is drawing interest from multiple teams including the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network.

Morosi states that the Cubs are viewed as favourites for Cobb, partially because of Cobb’s previous connection with former Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey.

Cobb was worth 2.3 WAR in 2017, the third most valuable season of his career. He started 29 games, up 24 games from his injury-shortened 2016 season, and had a 4.16 FIP.

Jon Heyman reported on December 11th during the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida that the Blue Jays were eyeing Cobb, although it seems as if they’ve fallen out of the race for the starter since then.

Some links:

  • Daniel Russell at D-Rays Bay wrote yesterday about the Tampa Bay Rays accepting their fate and finally, after four seasons, rebuilding.
  • Matthew LaMar at Royals Review opined that fans should “never begrudge a player for trying to sign the biggest possible contract.” It’s a viewpoint that I support, and LaMar argues it well.
  • Blue Jays fans aren’t the only ones to realize their team’s lack of offseason action. Caitlin Rogers from Pinstripe Alley, in her latest article on the AL East, breaks down the moves of every AL East team so far this offseason, which paints a pretty sad picture for the Blue Jays.
  • Yesterday, Baseball Prospectus released its top 10 Blue Jays prospect list, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette at the top two positions.
  • Shi David answered some of the most frequently asked questions this offseason in his latest article, and included some interesting tidbits of information (like the fact that an agent said, “The Blue Jays sure do love to talk”).

Follow Mark Colley on Twitter @MarkColley. Mark can be reached at