As the Winter Meetings approach, the Tigers are expected to be one of the most aggressive teams in terms of selling off some veteran talent. Among the names bandied about in the rumor mill is power-hitting outfielder J.D. Martinez. It makes sense, as he surely has great value as a slugger and is only signed through 2017.
Hey, who could use a power-hitting corner outfielder? Among others, the Giants, perhaps ...
Sources: Giants are exploring all avenues for a power outfield bat. Among those they've talked about: J.D. Martinez, who Tigers would deal.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 2, 2016
This is mostly a good fit.
Martinez is 29 and coming off three seasons with the Tigers where he hit .299/.357/.540 (145 OPS+), making him one of the more productive hitters in baseball. He had some injuries, but averaged 40 doubles, 34 homers and 100 RBI per 162 games, topping out at 38 homers and 102 RBI in 2015.
Meantime, the Giants don't really have a left fielder. If the season started today, it would be some combination of Jarrett Parker, Mac Williamson and Gorkys Hernandez. For a team with World Series aspirations, that's not going to cut it.
Adding Martinez to the fray would give them something like this in the lineup:
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Brandon Belt, 1B
3. Buster Posey, C
4. Hunter Pence, RF
5. J.D. Martinez, LF
6. Brandon Crawford, SS
7. Eduardo Nunez, 3B
8. Joe Panik, 2B
We could play with that a bit. For example, I'd rather hit Martinez cleanup. But we get the idea. That's a good lineup, thanks to a huge upgrade in left. Plus, the Giants wouldn't have to severely impact future payrolls, given Martinez's free agent status after the season.
One potential roadblock is the Giants don't really have a deep farm system. As such, if the Tigers have multiple suitors here who get really serious, the Giants could be outbid.
On top of that, Martinez isn't a good defender and hasn't played left field since 2014.
So as I said, this is mostly a good fit, but not necessarily a great one.