J.P. Ricciardi wants to get fired

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He’s never been good at P.R., and there’s a sense that he’s already toast anyway, but the Blue Jays’ GM now seems to be begging for unemployment:

“Let me make this clear: It doesn’t matter if J.P. Ricciardi is the GM,
or Joe Blow is the GM. Two years from now, five years from now, seven
years from now, the reality that we face in Toronto is the division is
not going to change,” Ricciardi said in an interview this week. “The
Red Sox and Yankees are not going away. If the Yankees want to, they
can take their payroll to $300 million . . .I get this feeling that people are dying for me to lose my job, they
think my world is going to come crashing down. I’m not built like that.”

All of that may be true. But when you’re the GM of a baseball team, it’s not good business to (a) provide quotes which basically give the entire fan base permission to stop hoping and caring; and (b) tell your bosses that being fired wouldn’t bother you a bit.

Ricciardi should have been let go a couple of years ago. I have little doubt that he’ll be let go a couple of weeks from now.

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.