Red Sox put in claim on Nats' Guzman?

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With the uncertainty surrounding Jed
Lowrie’s wrist injury, the Red Sox are growing increasingly desperate
to find an upgrade at the shortstop position. Case in point, a report
from the Boston Globe citing “major league sources” that
they have put in a claim on Cristian Guzman.



Though the claim is not confirmed, it would mean the Red Sox 48 hours to work out a deal with the
Nationals. The Nationals could also decide to just give up Guzman’s contract or pull him back.




While Guzman ranks tenth in the
National League in batting this season, he also has a .333 on-base
percentage and has drawn just 11 walks in 402 plate appearances. He has
4.7% career walk rate — you know, Delmon Young and Jeff Francoeur
territory. Guzman is widely known as one of the least sure-handed shortstops in the majors (-6.3 UZR in his career).




The Nationals should be packing his bags already. Guzman is in the first year
of a two-year, $16 million dollar contract. If Mike Rizzo can get the
Red Sox to take on that contract, he just might get the “interim” tag
removed from his job title.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.