Detroit Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez has become the subject of trade rumors this offseason.

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Martinez Reportedly Most Likely Tiger to Be Dealt

Thursday, Nov. 10

A rival executive told Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports that outfielder J.D. Martinez is the Tigers star most likely to be dealt this offseason, citing his status as a free agent following the 2017 season and Detroit’s collection of right-handed power in the lineup. 

With Miguel Cabrera, Justin Upton, Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez (switch-hitter) and Nick Castellanos, the Tigers are loaded from the right side of the plate.

Certainly, Martinez’s pending free agency makes him expendable. And Buster Olney of ESPN Insider reported in October that the Tigers would listen to offers on all of their players this offseason, even guys like Cabrera and Justin Verlander, franchise staples.

While Olney acknowledged that hardly meant the Tigers were about to embark on a fire sale, it was an indication that the front office was at least considering a mild makeover after the team failed to reach the postseason in 2016.

And general manager Al Avila already suggested the Tigers were interested in lowering their payroll and weren’t, at the time, interested in offering Martinez a long-term extension, per Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press:

I don’t foresee any talks of a long-term contract at this point. In saying that, we’re going to keep an open mind in what possibilities come across this winter, this coming summer. I’m not going to rule out that we wouldn’t consider a long-term deal, but sitting here today, we’re not thinking that way right now. Can’t say we wouldn’t be thinking about that down the road.

Martinez, 29, is an appealing trade chip.

He hit .307 with 22 home runs, 68 RBI and 69 runs scored in 2016. He was amazing in 2015, ripping 38 homers and 102 RBI. He’s sandwiched that breakout campaign with seasons where he hit at least 22 home runs but also played 123 games or fewer.

And based on Avila’s comments, it’s hard to imagine the Tigers won’t at least entertain the notion of dealing Martinez.


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