MLB Free Agent Rumors: Angels ‘Eyeing’ Dodgers’ J.D. Martinez
MLB: NLDS-Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have a two-way shaped hole in their roster left by Shohei Ohtani, who joined the L.A. Dodgers on a $700 million mega contract. Unlike any other free agent, the Angels lost both their best pitcher and their starting designated hitter in that move, and must find a potential replacement for both. And there is no better free agent DH on the market than J.D. Martinez.

Martinez, one of the best pure hitters of the last decade, had a bounce-back 2023 campaign with the Dodgers. In 113 games, Martinez compiled an .893 OPS with 33 home runs and 103 RBI, all significant leaps from his final year with the Boston Red Sox on fewer plate appearances.

And where a hole opened up on the Angels roster is where a hole was filled on the Dodgers roster. They no longer have any use for Martinez, as they have a better every day DH in Ohtani. Naturally, the Angels could make sense as a perfect fit, something they’ve had their eye on via Jon Heyman of the New York Post:

The Mets and Angels are eying top free-agent DH J.D. Martinez. His old Diamondbacks team also seeks a hitter. Justin Turner is another who fits all those teams.

If the Angels want an every day DH, Martinez is by far the best option on the market to fit that role. It would also make sense for Martinez, as he could get a healthy contract due to necessity without having to move for the second time in two years.

However, one option that has been floated for the Angels is not bringing in an everyday DH, allowing the Halos to utilize the position as a rotated day off for some of the team’s more injury-prone position players. Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Taylor Ward, Mickey Moniak and others could split time at DH to preserve everyone’s health.

For a team that has struggled mightily to stay healthy over the years, allowing Trout and Rendon to bat while giving them the day off in the field could extend their seasons and give L.A. a chance to compete.

Angels looking at Teoscar Hernandez

Another possible addition the Angels have reportedly looked at is free agent outfielder from the Seattle Mariners, Teoscar Hernandez.

He burst onto the scene with the Toronto Blue Jays in the shortened 2020 season by posting a .919 OPS and winning a Silver Slugger award. But of course he, like many other 2020 stars, had to prove it wasn’t a fluke. He did so by hitting 32 home runs, collecting 116 RBI and posting an .870 OPS in 2021, winning a Silver Slugger and being named an All-Star for his efforts.

He has been solid in the two years since, seeing a bit of a downturn after being dealt to the Seattle Mariners ahead of the 2023 campaign. But he is now a marquee free agent, and one the Angels have reportedly checked in on.

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