With the annual Major League Baseball winter meetings taking place next week in Maryland, the hot stove is going to start to burn a little more hot as that nears. It’s no secret that the Detroit Tigers will be open for business, that was made clear as soon as the season ended by team general manager Al Avila.
One player that will certainly draw the attention of many is outfielder J.D. Martinez. Detroit is on record said they’re not entirely interested to an extension with Martinez, who is in the final year of his current two-year pact with the team. That undoubtedly makes him one of the more movable parts for the Tigers in an effort to shed payroll this off-season.
One team that may be a possible suitor for Martinez’s services are the New York Mets, and Jon Heyman of FanRagSports reports that the Mets that may have “some interest” in the 29-year-old corner outfielder.
cespedes is mets top choice for OF/rhh but here's 1 fallback option. https://t.co/RBvJZuy9H5
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 29, 2016
— SNY (@SNYtv) November 29, 2016
Heyman adds that Martinez would be a “fall-back option” for the Mets if they are unable to re-sign former Tiger outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who exercised the player option of his three-year deal he signed last off-season and opted out, becoming a free agent this winter. Along with Cespedes in the free agent pool is trade deadline acquisition Jay Bruce, making the Mets down two very big outfield bats. Heyman suggests the connection between Martinez and the Mets makes sense for both sides, should New York be unable to re-sign Cespedes. Detroit gets to shed payroll and ship out an expendable piece, while New York gets a much-needed power bat from the right side of the plate.
It isn’t clear yet where the Mets and Cespedes stand in current talks for a new deal but if that doesn’t work out, don’t be surprised to see Avila make a phone call to his New York counterpart Sandy Alderson about a potential deal. Martinez, was limited to just 120 games last year due to injury but made the most of it, posting a .308 batting average and a .908 OPS, with 22 home runs and 68 RBI.
It wasn’t long ago that the Mets and Tigers were trade partners. Go back to deadline day during the 2015 season, when the Tigers shipped the aforementioned Cespedes to Queens in exchange for two minor league pitchers. One of those happened to be some guy named Michael Fulmer, who recently won the American League Rookie of the Year award.