Link-O-Rama: Brewers owner gives GM vote of confidence

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* Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said yesterday that speculation about general manager Doug Melvin’s job being in jeopardy is “ridiculous.” On the other hand, manager Ken Macha’s job seems far less secure.
* Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Royals are close to signing first-round pick Aaron Crow, who was exempt from the normal August deadline because he left college and played in an independent league while holding out after being drafted in 2008.
* Gavin Floyd left yesterday’s start after two innings and will miss his next turn in the rotation because of a lingering hip injury. Ozzie Guillen has indicated that the White Sox may simply shut Floyd down for the season.
* A double-digit losing streak putting the team in danger of finishing below .500 after going to the World Series the previous season tends to create some clubhouse tension.
* At this point, hopefully Tim McCarver sings better than he announces.
* In the wake of Bartolo Colon being released by the White Sox yesterday, Arlington Heights Daily Herald beat reporter Scot Gregor calls him “one of the stranger guys I’ve run across in Major League Baseball.” Not mentioned, of course, is that he’s also one of the sexiest.

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.