J.D. Martinez is perhaps the most appealing trade piece on the Detroit Tigers roster, and it's due in large part to not only his performance on the field, but the fact that teams won't be taking on a massive contract from Detroit, which teams would have to do in acquiring one of the Tigers' other star players. It's time to find a potential landing spot for the Tigers outfielder, and here's 3 teams that could make sense on paper to acquire Martinez.
Martinez would make some sense as a power bat to put into the Nats' lineup and he's a corner outfielder, something Washington would like to add. His 40 homer bat would be a great addition. Erick Fedde and Austin Voth would be great adds in a deal for Detroit. Going bold and including Justin Verlander in a deal could land the Tigers even higher prospects such as Reynaldo Lopez or Victor Robles.
-Los Angeles Dodgers:
Martinez adding thunder to the Dodgers would be great. However, Los Angeles is in need of a left handed bat to add to their lineup and J.D. is a right hander. Detroit has interest in acquiring top Dodgers prospect Cody Bellinger, who is a 1B/OF. The Tigers would need to add more along with J.D. to make that happen, as eventually Bellinger will play a significant role in the future of the Dodgers.
-San Francisco Giants
San Francisco has already had talks with Detroit about Martinez, and whether that is just simply checking in on him or if it's more, nonetheless they have interest. Tyler Beede, Christian Arroyo, and Andrew Suarez are players of which Detroit could have interest.
It's without a doubt the Tigers will move Martinez this winter, as his situation contract wise makes him a very appealing asset to other teams. And the Tigers are sure to get a good return no matter where he goes.
-Chris Sale is all over the rumor mill, and the two top destinations to this point have been the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Here's one team however that I believe could be in on Sale as well, the New York Yankees. While it would be a very tough pill to swallow if they dealt for him because of their newly acquired prospects, they need a frontline starter and Sale would fit the bill perfectly.
-Andrew McCutchen is also a well talked about trade candidate, and the Pirates will obviously have a very high asking price for him. But after an ugly season both at the plate and in the field, is it possible that the Pirates end up selling too low for him?
-The Tigers are starting to get plenty of interest in J.D. Martinez, and while it looks like he will be traded by the winter meetings, GM Al Avila could wait longer to maximize Martinez's value very high.
-Jose Quintana could very well bring about the same return to the White Sox in a trade that Chris Sale would bring, in which he could be next in line if Chicago decides to keep Sale in the fold.
-And finally, Edwin Encarnacion's market appears to be getting slower and slower as the offseason continues. While its still very early in the offseason, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Encarnacion is still an FA by the time January comes along.
Coming off of a season in which he posted a .234/.366/.452 line and 22 homers, Jose Bautista enters free agency looking for a big payday following several years of big offensive production as a Blue Jay.
Bautista has been at the heart of the Toronto lineup for the past 9 seasons, smacking 265 of his 308 career home runs in a Blue Jays uniform. Joey Bats has also been a favorite amongst many fans, and his memorable 2015 home run(and epic bat flip) in the postseason against Texas that year is among the great memories the fans will have of him. Unfortunately, during Bautista's tenure, he was not able to help the team to that elusive World Series title.
Now as he enters free agency, Bautista's time in Toronto will most likely be at an end. The Blue Jays issued Bautista a qualifying offer at the beginning of the offseason, to which unsurprisingly, he declined. He is looking for a contract that will pay him in excess of $20MM plus per year, which after his injury riddled season, now looks harder to achieve, which is also why some started to wonder whether or not he would actually accept the qualifying offer to rebuild stock for next offseason. So, who exactly would be willing to sign Bautista this offseason?
Teams who seem to be in the market for a DH/Right Fielder right now appear to be the Red Sox, Rangers, Yankees, and Orioles.
The Red Sox are currently focusing on outfielder Carlos Beltran at this time, and if they aren't able to sign him, they could either go and sign Bautista's now former teammate Edwin Encarnacion or go the route Sox GM Dave Dombrowski prefers, which is Beltran or filling the DH position from within. So I don't see the Red Sox going after him.
The Yankees could very well make for a realistic target, as they could stand to benefit from adding Bautista's bat in the lineup and he could slot in well in the DH spot. But the case here with the Yankees is the same as the Red Sox, New York is currently prioritizing Beltran and may go after Encarnacion as their fallback option. However, keep the Yankees in mind.
The Orioles are set to lose Mark Trumbo in free agency, who is a good bet to land a sizable multi-year pact on the open market, and Baltimore could replace him with Bautista, who's bat would look very nice in the small Camden Yards. Problem is, would the Orioles be willing to come close to Bautista's asking price? They could just re-sign Trumbo if they want to pay a big price for a slugger.
Which now brings us to a team that is quite familiar to Bautista, the Texas Rangers. Texas is set to lose Mitch Moreland in free agency and with Prince Fielder's sudden retirement, the Rangers are in need of a DH and a 1B. Bautista would fill the DH slot for Texas at the same time adding a big bat to the everyday lineup. But do they want to hand out another huge contract and to a player in his late 30s(not to mention he's not very popular with the fan base)?
There is another team in the American League that could benefit from adding Bautista and that is the Tampa Bay Rays. However, they don't typically spend high on players and Bautista is sure to be out of their price range.
While Jose Bautista's market appears to be limited to AL clubs, there are a few National League teams that could look into adding Bautista. In fact, the New York Mets have already checked in on potentially going for Bautista. The problem with NL clubs however, is Bautista's defensive numbers are vastly declining as he gets older and that could very well pose a problem in committing a big sum of money to a player with those deficiencies.
While unlikely at this point, it's still possible that the Blue Jays could attempt to re-sign Bautista in free agency, but with the addition of Kendrys Morales and the fact that the team has been linked to many alternatives already, it seems Bautista no longer has a place in Toronto's plans.
Jose Bautista nonetheless is a premium bat with plenty of history of putting up powerful numbers that he will score some type of multi-year deal from someone. He may not end up with a deal as big as he wants, but he should be able to cash in still, with who? We will find out in the weeks ahead.