There’s at least a chance the Arizona Diamondbacks trade Zack Greinke — and that might be bad news for the Boston Red Sox.
The Diamondbacks won 93 games last season and could be good again in 2018. Greinke is a huge part of the club’s core. The issue, though, is his contract. He still has $138 million left on his deal, which is, you know, a lot.
The D-Backs aren’t a big market team and are hamstrung by financial restraints … which is indirectly where the Red Sox come into play. Boston is reportedly very interested in free agent slugger J.D. Martinez, who was acquired by Arizona at the trade deadline last season.
To say Martinez made a good impression on his new team is an understatement. The 30-year-old played in just 62 games, but he made them count, hitting 29 home runs and driving in 65 runs with an absurd 1.107 OPS. Arizona obviously would love to retain his services, but with Martinez seeking a monster deal, the Diamondbacks are a long shot — at least financially.
Which brings us back to Greinke, and this report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman on Wednesday morning.
That’s bad news for the Red Sox, not only because it’s an additional suitor for their presumed top target, but Arizona’s infatuation with the player is mutual; Martinez loved life in the desert.
“Arizona was awesome. This team was great,” Martinez told reporters after the Diamondbacks’ National League Division Series loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. “This is, obviously, some of the best times I had in my life since playing professional baseball. Going down the stretch and being a part of this, especially with this group of guys, it’s awesome. Obviously, I would love to come back, but I don’t know what the future holds or wherever God wants me to go. But, I hope it’s here.
“But if it’s not, I mean, Arizona will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Perhaps that’s lip service from a guy who just saw his season come to an end and simultaneously wanted to keep his options open. But it’s not ideal if you’re looking at this from a Red Sox perspective.
Again, there’s no guarantee the Diamondbacks trade Greinke, and doing so would be an odd move — even if it’s financially driven with the hopes of signing Martinez. The 34-year-old pitcher had a sensational 2017 season, going 17-7 with a 3.20 ERA, pitching more than 200 innings and finishing fourth in NL Cy Young voting. And if you trade away a player like that, it’s going to be harder to sell your club’s chances of winning.
The good news for the Red Sox, though, is they have options. They’ve reportedly reached out to free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, and Eric Hosmer remains a possibility, according to The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.
But if Martinez is the top target, the Greinke trade talk can’t be something the Red Sox love to hear.
It’s important to once again note nothing is imminent, and the possibility of a Greinke trade — at this very moment — seems low. So maybe we just wasted 500-plus words for nothing. ‘Tis the season.
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