J.D. Martinez of the Boston Red Sox became the first player to win two Silver Slugger Awards in the same season on Thursday.

Martinez, who batted .330 with 43 home runs and 130 RBI, was voted the winner at designated hitter and the outfield in the American League. Martinez had 569 official at-bats, 219 as an outfielder and 350 as designated hitter.

Other players have received votes at multiple positions in past years, but this is the first time a player has won two in the same season.

Outfielder Mookie Betts captured his second AL Silver Slugger Award. Betts won the AL batting title with a .346 average, adding 47 doubles, five triples, 32 homers, 129 runs, 80 RBI and 30 stolen bases.

BILL JAMES, the father of Sabermetrics, a renowned baseball historian and a Red Sox senior advisor – let loose some provocative baseball opinions on Twitter.

What began as a debate about the value of player salaries escalated when James, in one particular blunt take, said: “If the players all retired tomorrow, we would replace them, the game would go on; in three years it would make no difference whatsoever. The players are NOT the game, any more than the beer vendors are.”

That particular tweet (since deleted) has since drawn rebukes from MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark as well as from several players.

MARINERS-RAYS: Speedy outfielder and leadoff hitter Mallex Smith was acquired by the Seattle Mariners from the Tampa Bay Rays for catcher Mike Zunino and outfielder Guillermo Heredia as part of a five-player deal.

YANKEES: Catcher Gary Sanchez had surgery on his left shoulder Thursday, which could slow him during spring training but is not likely to keep him out of the lineup on Opening Day.

PIRATES: Third baseman Jung Ho Kang and the Pirates agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

GM MEETINGS: A person familiar with the agenda tells The Associated Press that baseball owners plan to vote on a new term for Commissioner Rob Manfred and a new television contract with Fox.

Major League Baseball and its players’ union likely will not decide until the eve of spring training whether to change rules in an effort to increase action on the field next year.

Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem said as the meetings ended that there was no consensus for change yet. More discussions will take place when owners gather next week in Atlanta, the union’s executive board convenes in late November and major league executives go to Las Vegas for the winter meetings in mid-December.

Topics being discussed include the increased use of defensive shifts, the decrease in innings thrown by starting pitchers and technology that aids sign stealing. A possible 20-second pitch clock and alterations to rules for waivers, trade deadlines and disabled lists also are being discussed.

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