According to multiple reports, though Ken Rosenthal was first, the Detroit Tigers are close to re-signing DH Victor Martinez to a four-year deal. The dollars aren’t out yet, but various projections had him getting four years and something in the $70 to $80 million range (actually, as I type, Enrique Rojas reports that it’s likely in the 4/$70M range). Obviously that’s a lot for a 36-year-old DH, but the guy was absolutely ridiculous with the bat this year.
There is no direct impact here to the Cubs, as they were not pursuing Martinez, and there likely isn’t much overlap between the Cubs’ top targets this offseason and the Tigers’ remaining targets (maybe Andrew Miller, but I don’t think Martinez is going to take the Tigers out of the market for Miller, anyway, in terms of available dollars).
The ancillary impacts are interesting:
- The Blue Jays were possibly in on Martinez, which could mean they now turn a little more aggressively toward Russell Martin as an offensive upgrade.
- The Mariners were probably very in on Martinez, and also probably have a fair bit of money to spend this offseason. Maybe they devote a healthier chunk to pitching now?
- The White Sox were also viewed as an outside possibility for Martinez, and they could be another team in on Miller. I’d say any impact there is very thin, though.
- The Tigers still look mighty competitive for the next couple years, even if they lose Max Scherzer. The rest of the AL Central is going to have to keep pace.
- This is the first big domino in the offseason to fall (and quite early, too). You never quite know for sure how Move A impacts Move B, but often there are a series of interconnected events in this situation.
- Let’s be honest: it’s just fun to see a big deal actually happen. Things! Offseason!