Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Market For Victor Martinez

After yesterday's trade of Cliff Lee, it's widely assumed around baseball that the Indians are now looking to move Martinez, who is signed through 2010. Martinez is one of the premier catchers in all of baseball and has bounced back from a injury plagued 2008 to hit 15 HR with 67 RBI and 56 runs scored.

Obviously its going to take quite a package to land Martinez. What teams should/could be interested in Cleveland's all star catcher? Let's take a look:

Red Sox
: This is where all the hot rumors have been so far. The Red Sox need a quality hitter in the middle of the lineup and Martinez would instantly become one of the best hitters they have. My only question is this: would Martinez catch? Obviously, he's not going to play 1st with Youk and LaRoche there, but will he really supplant Varitek? Is that a smart move even with 'Tek's offensive struggles?

Rays: I would love to see Martinez land here and supplant the struggling Dioner Navarro, but I'm doubtful that this would happen. Martinez would fit in perfectly with this lineup and finally provide Evan Longoria with some much needed protection.

Angels: Complete speculation on my part here. If the Angels don't feel secure with Vladimir Guerrero returning to his top form this season, then Martinez could become an attractive option here. The Angels have been reluctant to trade their top prospects over the years, which makes a match here look even less likely.

The Field: Who else can really make a play for this guy?
The Giants? Nope.
The Mets? I wish.
The Rangers? Doubt it.

Analysis:Unless the Red Sox or another team steps up to the plate, the Indians might have a tough time finding a suitable trade partner for Martinez. Might they be better off waiting until the offseason (when more teams should be interested) to trade Martinez?

Only time will tell.


Bill said...

How about something like this:
vs. LHP: Varitek C, Youk 1B, Lowell 3B, Martinez DH
vs. RHP: Varitek C, Martinez 1B, Youk 3B, Ortiz DH

with Martinez basically also serving as the backup catcher, and the other guys shifting back to their current roles when Tek needs a rest.

You don't tell Ortiz he's being platooned for ego reasons, but he just gets an increasing number of "days off" when a lefty happens to be on the mound. I doubt the Red Sox feel any pressure to play LaRoche at all, and they shouldn't. Maybe if they pull off this deal they'll dump him quickly on someone else.

Jorge Says No! said...

I just can't see the Sox doing that. They have such a logjam as is that unless they make room for Martinez, it'd be impossible to have Ortiz, Lowell, Youk, Martinez, Varitek, and LaRoche for 4 spots.