Oct 5, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) during batting practice before game three of the 2014 ALDS baseball playoff game against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
In his daily ESPN Insider column, ESPN baseball reporter Buster Olney mentioned the Chicago White Sox as one of the teams that could pursue free agent designated hitter Victor Martinez.
The post by Olney said the following about Martinez and the White Sox:
"“The White Sox have a lot of payroll flexibility and could bat Martinez right behind Jose Abreu, providing the same sort of stability that he did for Miguel Cabrera. And U.S. Cellular Field is definitely a much more hitter-friendly park.”"
But he also said this about the Tigers and their pursuit to re-sign their DH:
"“They’ll give him a qualifying offer, and beyond that, the official said, they’ll give him what it takes.”"
I believe the White Sox have a good chance at bringing in Martinez to the roster and most importantly to protect Jose Abreu in the batting order.
Abreu kind of had that protection with Adam Dunn this past season, but Martinez, who batted .335 with 32 home runs and 103 RBIs in ’14 with the Tigers, would be a major upgrade.
Sep 25, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) hits a two run home run in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
He’s protected former AL MVP Miguel Cabrera in the Tigers’ lineup the past four seasons.
Martinez also led the majors in on-base percentage (.409) and OPS (on-base+slugging percentage) at .974. this season, so he is more than just a bodyguard in the batting order for the Tigers or whomever he is playing for.
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It would be a great move by the White Sox to sign Martinez at the right cost, and even more importantly, the right number of years.
If the White Sox could get a two- or three-year deal with Martinez (who is 35 years old), for probably around $14-15 million per year, then that’s what they’ll have to do.
Martinez’s contract with the Tigers saw him make $12 million this past season and $13 million per season in ’12 and ’13, so I expect the market to be a little higher that those numbers for this upcoming contract, especially with the numbers he had in ’14.
Another thought is could he and ace Chris Sale co-exist on the same team? There seemed to be some tensions with those two late in the season, as Sale hit him with a pitch and seemed unhappy with the slugger. That incident caused the benches and bullpen to clear.
All of this just depends on what the Tigers offer Martinez, but before it is all said and done, I bet whomever signs Martinez will be spending upwards of $45 million for at least the next three seasons.
Again, that’s just a guess.
What are your thoughts? Do you want the White Sox to be interested in and possibly sign Martinez this offseason? Give us your opinion.