Victor Martinez is one of the best hitters in all of baseball. It was not surprising, then, when the Detroit Tigers indicated that bringing Martinez back this coming off-season would be a top priority.
There is good news for the Tigers this weekend as Martinez, a free agent at season’s end, reportedly returns the sentiment. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:
There have been no contract discussions, but Martinez, a free agent-to-be who is having one of his best years (.328, 20 homers), would love to remain in Detroit, according to a source close to the 35-year-old.
Martinez received appropriate attention earlier this season for his minuscule number of strikeouts, but his success still might be overshadowed by the fact that he plays on the same team as Miguel Cabrera. There might be no better way to understand how good he has been than to put his stats up next to Cabrera’s.
Cabrera: .315/.369/.540, 13 home runs, 64 RBI
Martinez: .323/.383/.592, 20 home runs, 52 RBI
In case you have any doubts why the Tigers are such a threat in the American League, the presence of those two sluggers is a good place to start.
Cafardo notes that the challenges to getting a deal done would include the length of a deal and how to commit to Martinez in relation to how many years Cabrera has left as a position player. But with Martinez hitting as well as he ever has at age 35, it seems like a fairly safe bet for the Tigers to keep Martinez in Detroit when he hits free agency this off-season.