By: Will Burchfield
As long as J.D. Martinez remains with the Tigers, the slugging right fielder will be surrounded by trade rumors.
The latest comes from Jon Heyman, who reported on Tuesday that the New York Mets could pursue a trade for Martinez if they're unable to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes.
"Cespedes remains by far and away the Mets' main outfield target, but sources say the team has some interest in Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez as a fall-back option should things not work out," Heyman writes.
Cespedes opted out of the final two years of his three-year, $75 million contract following the World Series.
Martinez has become a hot commodity on the trade market given the Tigers' stated intention to cut payroll. Of the team's various stars who have been mentioned as trade candidates, Martinez has emerged - in some eyes - as the most likely to be dealt.
Martinez, 29, will become a free agent at the end of next season and will command a substantial raise from his current $11.75 million salary. If the Tigers aren't willing to pony up, it would make sense to trade Martinez for future assets.
Since 2014, he has hit .299 with an .898 OPS and a per-season average of 33 home runs and 99 RBI (prorated over 162 games).
Earlier this month, Martinez was linked to the San Francisco Giants.
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