MLB Rumors: Braves preferred deal, Red Sox-Mariners trade chatter, Jays next move

  • Blue Jays interested in J.D. Martinez
  • Mariners 'rebuffed' Red Sox trade interest in young pitchers
  • Why Corbin Burnes is Braves' best bet on trade market

Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers
Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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MLB Rumors: Blue Jays interested in J.D. Martinez as Shohei Ohtani fallback

The Toronto Blue Jays have expressed interest in free agent J.D. Martinez, according to MLB.com's Keegan Matheson. It's easy to connect the dots to Shohei Ohtani. Martinez would add another power bat to the middle of Toronto's lineup, a clear priority after Ohtani spurned the Jays in favor of the Los Angeles Dodgers' historic $700 million offer.

Martinez happened to spend last season with the Dodgers, slashing .271/.321/.572 with 33 home runs and 103 RBIs in 432 ABs. The hard-hitting righty finished in the 98th percentile for exit velocity (93.4 MPH), barrel percentage (17.1), and hard-hit percentage (55.1), per Baseball Savant, earning his sixth All-Star appearance.

Age and position are a factor with Martinez. He is 36 years old, relegated exclusively to DH responsibilities in L.A. The Blue Jays were saving their DH spot for Ohtani, however, and can afford to plug Martinez into a prominent lineup spot as their slugging specialist. Toronto has been in the market for left-handed hitters, such as Cody Bellinger or (the now unavailable) Juan Soto, but Martinez is a suitable backup plan if the Blue Jays can't land the offseason's most coveted moonshot artists.

It's clear the Blue Jays are eager to take the next step toward contention in 2024. Martinez can push the offense forward as Toronto tries to keep pace with the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles in a crowded AL East.