Tuesday, February 20, 2018

How Does Martinez Signing Impact Hanley/Moreland?

(AP Photo)
Back on Lincoln's Birthday (February 12th), we ruminated about how a potential signing of J.D. Martinez would impact playing time for both Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland. As we put it back then,

"Who's DH-ing On First? If we do get Martinez (which is still highly likely), then our new manager will have a heck of a time doing a musical chairs act at first base/DH—among J.D., Mitch Moreland and Hanley Ramirez. Martinez could play some in the OF (which he wants to do), but there are just too many bodies and too few slots. Keeping everyone happy (particularly Hanley) will be a full-time job;"

It's pretty clear from the rumblings out of Yawkey Way South that Martinez is pretty exclusively going to be the 2018 DH—no one wants to break up the youthful Killer B outfield with a 30-year-old who can't field. So, that leaves first base as a free-for-all between Hanley and Moreland. Early indications are that Ramirez will be the "starter", but why the heck did we sign Moreland? Will one of them have to be moved before the start of the season? Will Hanley be difficult if it's perceived that—because of some sort of platoon—he won't reach the 497 plate appearances that trigger a 2019 contract? No one seems to be addressing this elephant in the clubhouse. So, we are.