J.D. Martinez proved to be a great addition to the Dodgers this year, earning the nickname Just Dingers after hitting his highest number of homers (33) since 2019. Martinez, a free agent, could take that performance all the way to the bank—and to a new team.
The Dodgers could certainly still use him, but as The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya points out, Will Smith, Max Muncy, Miguel Vargas, and Michael Busch could all fill the role of designated hitter at some point next season.
Martinez has said that he just wants to win, and that—combined with an expected salary increase of $6 million to $7 million that agent Scott Boras said was left on the table to sign with the Dodgers—leaves the slugger with a few options. The Red Sox are trying to right their ship under new leadership, and a comeback with the storied club could make sense. A Florida native, Martinez could also have an eye on the Miami Marlins. The team make a spectacular postseason run this year, but everyday DH Jorge Soler is still under contract.
Outliers include the Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds, and Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Chicago Cubs, all of whom saw below-average production from their designated hitters and could be in the market for an upgrade.
Given the Dodgers’ strong interest in Shohei Ohtani, Martinez may not be a good fit for 2024—but if anything changes on that front, it could be time for another round.
Mookie Betts is serving as a correspondent for the World Series and offered behind-the-scenes access and analysis for MLB’s social media platforms and cable channel. He called the experience a good opportunity to figure out his next move after his playing career ends, writes Jessica Camerato at MLB.com.
Frank Howard, an All-Star and World Series winner with the Dodgers in 1963, died at age 87. Howard won Rookie of the Year in 1960 when he made his debut for the Dodgers, then had the honor of hitting the Washington Senators’ final homer in D.C. and the first at their new home in Arlington when the team became the Texas Rangers. Stephen Whyno at the Associated Press tells the story of Howard’s impact on the game.
Miguel Rojas thanked fans—and haters—in an Instagram post to celebrate 100,000 followers. Rojas was recently named one of the top defensive shortstops in baseball by Sports Info Solutions.