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Martinez wants to stay in Boston, but won’t talk contract during the season

Victor Martinez would prefer to stay with the Red Sox past 2010, but he isn’t open to negotiating a contract extension with the team during the season.

From the Boston Herald:

“As soon as the season starts, I don’t want to be talking about numbers or be talking about something that can distract me from the game and distract my teammates,” Martinez said. “That’s the last thing I want with this great team they’ve put together. Maybe, who knows, they come to me in spring training with something.

“Honestly, I’m all open now until the season starts. As soon as the season starts, I barely talk to my mom.”

While I fully endorse young men talking to their moms as much as possible, I love V-Mart’s attitude and take on this topic. Players should focus on their game during the season and not on their contract. I understand a player’s contract is highly important, but that doesn’t mean a player shouldn’t fulfill his promise for the final year of his current deal just because he hasn’t been offered an extension.

Too many players gripe about their contract during the season and become a distraction. Good to see Martinez won’t be one of them.


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MLB trade rumors: Martinez, Halladay, Lee & Garko

- The Brewers and Mariners are in serious talks that could send starter Jarrod Washburn to Milwaukee according to the Journal-Sentinel.

- The Yankees are looking for arms and according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, the Bombers are interested in the Bucs’ Ian Snell, John Grabow and Matt Capps, the Nats’ Joe Beimel, the Royals Ron Mahay, and the Reds’ Bronson Arroyo.

- The Giants are still in desperate need of bats and according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Indians have been scouting the G-Men’s farm system. Could either Victor Martinez or Ryan Garko be on their way to San Fran?

- Despite Toronto GM J.P. Riccardi saying there is a very slim chance that a trade will happen, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that talks between the Phillies and Blue Jays remain intense. The paper also suggests that the Phillies could turn their attention to Cliff Lee if a deal for Halladay cannot be struck.

- According to the Boston Globe, the Red Sox still remain very much in the hunt for either Roy Halladay or Victor Martinez.

- The Dodgers are denying that a deal between them and the Indians involving Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez is in serious discussion. FOXSports.com reported over the weekend that L.A. and Cleveland were discussing a blockbuster trade that would send Lee and Martinez to the Dodgers for James Loney and either Chad Billingsley or Clayton Kershaw.

Dodgers, Indians in discussions about Lee and Martinez?

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com is reporting that the Indians and Dodgers are in serious discussions about a possible trade that would send Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez to the Dodgers for a package that would include either Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley.

Top club officials from both teams strongly denied a FOXSports.com report saying that the teams were in serious discussions about a blockbuster that would send left-hander Cliff Lee and catcher Victor Martinez to Los Angeles for first baseman James Loney, one of the Dodgers’ young rotation members and prospects.

Those names have at least surfaced in internal discussions on both sides, but a deal involving those specific players is not under consideration, the club officials said.

The Dodgers have had steady interest in Lee. They have not discussed Martinez with the Indians, one source said, but some club officials evidently view Martinez as another potential upgrade.
One thing is clear: The Dodgers are exploring ways to improve a team that has built a wide lead in the NL West and the best record in the National League.

Wow. L.A. would be giving up a ton of young talent, but one of the unwritten rules in baseball is that if you have a chance to win now, you take it. And the Dodgers definitely have a chance to win now.

Personally, I think losing Kershaw would be a bigger blow to the Dodgers than losing Billingsley, who has electric stuff but seems streaky. At the ripe age of 21, Kershaw has been outstanding this season and has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in L.A.’s organization, which is why it’s understandable that the Tribe would want him in return for a deal that included Lee.

But still, the Dodgers would be getting Lee, who I’ll stop shy of saying is a guarantee in terms of production. Martinez (who’s hitting .287 with 14 home runs and 64 RBI this season) would also be an excellent addition to the Dodgers’ already solid lineup. This is a deal that could essentially put L.A. over the top and considering Lee and Martinez’s salaries can be controlled next season, a move that could make the Dodgers World Series contenders not just for this year, but next year as well.

Even though this is just a rumor I’m a big believer in, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And there’s a ton of smoke coming out of L.A. and Cleveland at the moment.

Ten Predictions for the MLB second half


The second half of the 2009 MLB season has kicked off and with that, I’m going to make some predictions that are sure to be proved wrong in a couple months.

Feel free to whip out your crystal ball in the comments section but before you do, please do everyone a favor and take off your favorite team prescribed glasses and be objective for once in your life, will ya?

1. The Blue Jays will trade Halladay…to the Phillies.
Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi is reminding everyone who will listen that he doesn’t absolutely need to trade Roy Halladay – which he doesn’t. But the bottom line is that he’ll probably get more in return for the “Doc” this season than he would next when Halladay is set to become a free agent after the 2010 season. And despite Ricciardi stating that he’s open to trading Halladay within the division, he’s not stupid. He’s not going to trade Halladay to the Red Sox or Yankees and risk becoming public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of Jays fans for not only getting rid of their best and most popular player, but also trading him to a division rival in the process. In the end, I think Ricciardi will trade Halladay to an NL team and my guess is that it will be Philadelphia that will eventually puts a package together to acquire him. Although they might balk at the $7 million that’s remaining on Halladay’s contract, the Phillies are built to win now and need more starting pitching to make another run at a World Series. They also have enough appealing prospects to entice Ricciardi to make a deal.

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Report: Indians open to trading Lee, Martinez

While it would have to take quite the package(s) to pry them away from Cleveland, the Indians are open to the idea of trading pitcher Cliff Lee and catcher Victor Martinez according to a report by the Plain Dealer.

The Indians could put together a decent rotation next year with Lee, Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona, Aaron Laffey, David Huff, Jeremy Sowers, Hector Rondon and others. Without Lee, it could be worse than it is this year.

Replacing Martinez, despite his big bat and strong voice in the clubhouse, wouldn’t be as difficult. The Indians played well in the second half last season while Martinez was recovering from surgery on his right elbow.

They would probably have to sign a veteran catcher to bridge the gap until Carlos Santana is ready in 2011.

The chances of keeping Lee and Martinez beyond 2010 are not good. They’ll both be eligible for free agency after next season.

The Indians gave a hint of where the Lee negotiations are headed when they wouldn’t discuss a contract extension in spring training. Lee’s won-loss record doesn’t show it, but he has pitched like a Cy Young winner this year, which means it’s unlikely he’ll consider a multiyear deal this winter when he’s just a year away from the open market.

The Indians would probably have a better chance of signing Martinez to a multiyear deal, but with the loss in revenues that the Indians and other teams are expected to take this year because of the economy and drop in attendance, that’s probably not going to happen.

Still, 2010 might not be bad if Lee and Martinez return, Westbrook, Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner stay healthy and the bullpen can be repaired. If not, Lee and Martinez can be turned into Sabathia clones and dealt to the highest bidder. The return might be as good as anything Shapiro could get this year.

It’s amazing how far the Tribe have fallen from their run in 2007. The Indians’ core that year was expected to be successful for a long time, but injuries and a drop off in production from players like Carmona sunk them in 2008 and now this season has been an utter disaster.

It might not appease fans, but trading guys like Lee and Martinez now might ensure a winner in 2011 and beyond. No fan wants their team to punt a season in hopes that the future will be brighter, but sometimes that’s the best option. If Lee and Martinez aren’t going to help Cleveland win next year and the club isn’t going to sign them long term, then what’s the point in hanging onto them?

The Tribe front office certainly has a dilemma on its hands.

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