Are the Phillies still pursuing Roy Halladay?

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Asked yesterday what the Phillies will be looking to upgrade this offseason general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said: “Third base, bullpen, bench.”
Despite the lack of “rotation” on that list Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer spoke to “more than one baseball official with knowledge of the Phillies’ offseason plan” who said that “the team remains very much in the picture to acquire” Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays.
Philadelphia made a midseason run at Halladay before balking at then-general manager J.P. Ricciardi’s sky-high asking price, instead acquiring Cliff Lee from Cleveland for a handful of non-elite prospects. Committing another package of prospects and a huge chunk of the payroll to a second No. 1 starter seems unlikely, but “one rival front-office man” who spoke to Salisbury seems to think that it’s possible.
Amaro reportedly turned down Ricciardi’s request for J.A. Happ and prospects Kyle Drabek, Domonic Brown, and Anthony Gose. Parting with that quartet in addition to the prospects already shipped to the Indians for Lee would completely wipe out the Phillies’ farm system, but for the most part their offensive core should be intact for the long haul and if they could somehow get Lee and Halladay signed to long-term deals … well, they would be pretty scary for the near future.

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.