The Pirates season: poor even by their own awful standards

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Dejan Kovacevic had a lot of time to do some research in the PNC Park press box last night:

Perhaps the one good thing about the Pirates’ many miseries in
recent years is that they have resurrected the classic names of Crazy
Schmit, Phenomenal Smith and Peek-A-Boo Veach.

Those were just a few of the farmers and mill workers who comprised
the 1890 Pittsburg Alleghenies, the infamous worst team in franchise
history and the one invariably cited anytime a futility record is
challenged . . . That 3-21 stretch now is the second-worst in such a span over the
franchise’s 123-year history, with the 1890 team’s… um, phenomenal
3-35 finish to that 23-113 season still standing alone.

Kovacevic is one of my favorite beat writers.  Seeing his work during the heat of a pennant race would be nice, but at this point I’d love to see what he could do if he had even a run-of-the-mill bad team to cover.

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.