Yankees manager Aaron Boone praises Red Sox acquisition of J.D. Martinez
TAMPA, Fla. — It is part of any Yankees manager’s tenure.
Reacting to something the Red Sox do.
Aaron Boone’s turn came Tuesday, the query being about the Yankees rival coming to terms with J.D. Martinez on a five-year deal worth a reported $110 million.
“You look what he’s done the last three or four years,” Boone said. “I saw a graphic yesterday. This is a guy that’s up there with the elite names with what he’s been able to do, especially from an OPS standpoint.”
The 30-year-old Martinez, whose signing with the Red Sox has been considered a fait accompli since November, has a .936 OPS the last four seasons, which includes 2017, when he totaled 45 homers with the Tigers and Diamondbacks.
‘Obviously, he will be a big presence in the middle of their order and a guy who will be a challenge for us,” Boone said. “I’m sure he will go there and have a lot of success for a really good team.”
Those competing for infield spots certainly are putting their time in.
Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Austin, who saw some big-league time but battled hamstring issues much of last season, were all out early Tuesday morning working with infield coach Carlos Mendoza. Gleyber Torres, working out in Tampa for the last month, also has been an early-riser.
“Trying to contain my excitement because I’m really excited about them,” Boone said, when asked specifically about the work ethic of Torres and Andujar. “I think they’re both going to be tremendous players.”
If at first . . .
Boone said first base, beyond Greg Bird, is “somewhere we’re a little bit thin right now.” Austin would get the first look there if anything were to happen to Bird, and backup catcher Austin Romine is the emergency first baseman. Billy McKinney, an outfielder who impressed scouts last season with his work in Triple-A, will get plenty of reps at first this spring, Boone said.