The market for J.D. Martinez appeared to comprise just one team — the Boston Red Sox, who had the means, motive and opportunity to sign the outfielder/DH whom no other team seemed to come close to in terms of offers. That may have contributed to the lengthy stalemate. I think the Red Sox blinked, giving Martinez a five-year, $110 million deal that is certainly too long (the deal includes an opt-out after two years), but does improve their offense in a way no other free agent this year could have, and directly boosts their chances of repeating as division champs.
In the short term, Martinez is exactly what the Red Sox need: a power hitter to insert into a lineup that hit the fewest homers of any American League team last year — 168, 18 home runs behind the next lowest total. The Red Sox were fifth in the AL in OBP last year, helping them to a sixth-place finish in runs scored despite the lack of home run power, but with even average home run totals they likely would have finished in the top three.
New York Yankees trade relievers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to Cincinnati Reds
The move could signal the Yankees are pursuing a big addition to their bullpen and were looking to create room.
The deal was announced hours after New York won 4-3 at Tampa Bay, and Cincinnati finished off a 7-4 road victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
The 29-year-old Cessa went 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA in 29 relief appearances for the Yankees this season.
Wilson, 33, was 1-1 with a 7.50 ERA in 21 outings. The left-hander missed a combined 34 games during two stints on the injured list with left shoulder inflammation (March 29 to April 9) and a strained right hamstring (May 29 to June 30). He signed a one-year contract in February with a player option for 2022.
New York is nine games behind AL East-leading Boston and seven back of the second-place Rays, but much closer in the hunt for the second AL wild card.
Sources — Seattle Mariners finalizing deal for Tyler Anderson of Pittsburgh Pirates
The Seattle Mariners, hours after trading their best reliever, are finalizing a deal to acquire left-handed starter Tyler Anderson from the Pittsburgh Pirates, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Tuesday night.
It wasn’t immediately clear who the Pirates were getting in return.
Pittsburgh thought it had a deal for Anderson with the Philadelphia Phillies earlier Tuesday, but it fell through on medical review, sources said.
Seattle instead moved to acquire the 31-year-old Anderson, who is 5-8 with a 4.35 ERA this season. He’s set to become a free agent after the season.
Anderson spent his first four big league seasons with the Colorado Rockies before joining the San Francisco Giants as a free agent last season and then the Pirates this year. He’s gone at least five innings in each of his 18 starts in 2021.
Earlier Tuesday, Seattle traded right-hander Kendall Graveman to the Houston Astros as part of a four-player deal that baffled some considering the Mariners are just one game behind the Oakland Athletics in the AL wild-card race.
But Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto hinted more moves could be on the way — which turned out true with the team nearing the Anderson deal.
“It probably doesn’t as a standalone, but it’s part of a context that’s going to be an ongoing story over the next couple of days” as the trade deadline nears, Dipoto said when asked why the team traded Graveman.
“What comes next could be as early as tonight or tomorrow because we do plan on being active.”
Trea Turner leaves Washington Nationals’ game after testing positive for COVID-19
The timeline for Turner’s positive result suggests his test was taken Monday.
He’s the second prominent player to test positive Tuesday; Milwaukee Brewers slugger Christian Yelich also did so and is experiencing mild symptoms despite being vaccinated. It wasn’t immediately known if Turner is vaccinated, too.
Turner is hitting .322 with 21 stolen bases this season. His name has been mentioned in trade rumors as the Nationals (45-54 entering Tuesday) have fallen out of the playoff race.
He’ll now be out at least 10 days, which would take him past Friday’s trade deadline.
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