FanRag’s Heyman predicts J.D. Martinez could return to the D-backs
No one could have imagined midseason trade acquisition J.D. Martinez would play this well for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The move was arguably the best of the season by any club, but the magic could end soon if Martinez leaves as a free agent this fall.
FanRag’s baseball insider Jon Heyman named his top-25 free agents for the approaching offseason, and in predicting the final destination for each, he indicated there is hope Arizona could retain Martinez’s services.
Arizona is expected to try to keep the mid-year pickup that has absolutely raked for them (22 home runs since going there with a 1.080 OPS compared to 1.018 mark in Detroit), and he’s said recently that he’d like to return. And while their revenues would suggest he’s likely to wind up elsewhere (and obviously beloved home-grown Paul Goldschmidt has to be their priority), let’s not forget they did find the loot to beat the Dodgers and Giants by about $40 million for Zack Greinke. He’s actually had the best year of all the free agents, and that’s saying something considering Hosmer and Moustakas, but the big issue for him is that his type has underperformed in recent markets.
Best Guess: Diamondbacks, Giants. The Giants are desperately in need of an outfielder, as we all know.
Greinke’s contract is a big chunk of the D-backs’ payroll, and the face of the franchise, Goldschmidt, is expected to be offered a huge payday as well. But while the first baseman becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2020 to finish his current five-year, $32 million contract, the club would still like to extend his tenure with the team.
In addition to projecting Martinez’s return, Heyman also named the D-backs as a contender to snatch away Cincinnati Reds shortstop Zack Cozart.
It’s a wonder they never found a trade for him (I should say another trade for him since one they had with Seattle was canceled). Shortstop is a funny spot. Is it possible that he could wind up going back there on a short deal?
Best Guess: Reds, Diamondbacks.
For the year, Cozart has a .935 OPS — the 12th best in the majors — a .300 batting average and 20 home runs.
The D-backs already have three talented shortstops in Chris Owings, Nick Ahmed and Ketel Marte, but injuries have plagued this group this season.