- The biggest free agent signing of the offseason finally came down as the Red Sox reached an agreement with slugger J.D. Martinez. The deal is reportedly worth $110 million over a five-year period. This is the highest per year salary handed out this offseason. Martinez had a breakout season hitting 45 home runs with 104 RBI over 119 games. Martinez started the year with the Tigers but was traded to the Diamondbacks in July. After joining Arizona, Martinez hit 29 homers in just 62 games. Statistically, for the season, Martinez hit a home run every 9.6 at bats. This was better than both Aaron Judge (10.4) and Giancarlo Stanton (10.1).
- Adrian Beltre was given a clean bill of health to start off Spring Training. The 20-year veteran missed the majority of the first two months of 2017 with a calf injury. He then battled a hamstring injury later in the year which ultimately led to the Rangers shutting him down. These injuries certainly didn’t hamper his performance when he played. Over 94 games, Beltre had a .312/.383/.532 slash line with 17 home runs and 71 RBI. The 38-year-old averaged 152 games played per season the five years prior to 2017.
- Blake Parker has not been named the Angels primary closer heading into 2018. Parker posted a 2.54 ERA and 11.5 K/9 over 67.1 innings in 2017. He only had eight saves in eleven opportunities but the 32-year-old righty did finish the year as the Angels primary ninth inning guy. Los Angeles used a fluid closer system in 2017, interchanging Parker, Bud Norris, and Cam Bedrosian for most of the season. It looks like 2018 will feature a similar setup. Bud Norris is no longer with the team, but the Angels did trade for veteran reliever Jim Johnson in the offseason. Johnson has several years of closer experience, including back-to-back 50 save seasons with the Orioles in 2012 and 2013.
- The Diamondbacks signed a different J.D., Jarrod Dyson. Dyson agreed to a two-year contract, not long after the Martinez signing. Dyson’s big contribution to fantasy is via his speed. He stole 28 bases over 111 games for the Mariners in 2017. The 33-year-old outfielder has averaged 31 steals per season since 2012 despite playing a part time role. In 2017, Dyson saw a career high 390 plate appearances. I’m not sure if the humidor has any impact on speed...
A few more quick hitters:
- Hanley Ramirez will be limited to a part-time role in 2018. He will split first base duties with Mitch Moreland and play DH on days Martinez takes the field.
- Ryan McMahon will open Rockies camp as the starting first baseman.
- Kurt Suzuki and Tyler Flowers will split time at catcher for the Braves in 2018, similar to how they did so in 2017.
- Austin Hays will compete for a starting position in right field for the Orioles.
- Yoenis Cespedes has implemented yoga into his workout routine in an attempt to improve his flexibility. Yes, even on the day J.D. Martinez signs, this is news!