During his end-of-season press conference Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he could see scenarios where the roster remains largely unchanged heading into 2017.
That hinges heavily on the club re-signing key free agents Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, and perhaps Rich Hill as well. Los Angeles has already undergone some changes, trading Carlos Ruiz to the Seattle Mariners, and more notably, dealing Howie Kendrick to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Sending Kendrick to the Philadelphia has left a clear void at second base. The Dodgers have been linked to multiple players, including Brian Dozier and Logan Forsythe.
It’s a position where a newcomer may prove instrumental in the Dodgers’ effort to improve against left-handed pitching. Of course, Los Angeles could also address the deficiency by acquiring an outfielder.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Dodgers have interest in Detroit Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez:
The Tigers’ asking prices for their most coveted players are so high at this point that some interested teams wonder if Detroit will be able to find suitable deals for players besides J.D. Martinez.
By the way, the Dodgers have interest in Martinez, but the market of corner outfielders/first-base slugger-types is so deep that’s it hard to imagine L.A. giving up a high-end prospect for Martinez, who will be eligible for free agency after next season.
Along with Martinez, the Tigers are willing to listen on trade offers for several players. Detroit and Los Angeles reportedly were discussing a trade involving Justin Verlander, and Ian Kinsler was also said to be at the center of talks.
Though, Kinsler wants a contract extension in exchange for accepting a trade to a team that’s on his no-trade list, which applies to the Dodgers.
As for Martinez, he batted .307/.373/.535 with 35 doubles, 22 home runs, 68 RBI, a 144 OPS+, .384 wOBA and 142 wRC+ in 120 games. In 132 plate appearances against southpaws, he hit .306/.348/.512 with 10 doubles, five home runs and 21 RBI.
The 29-year-old suffered a non-displaced fracture to his right elbow in mid-June and didn’t return until Aug. 4.
Last season Martinez appeared in a career-high 158 games, batting .282/.344/.535 with 33 doubles, 38 home runs and 102 RBI, earning All-Star Game honors and a Silver Slugger Award.