White Sox close to signing Omar Vizquel

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Omar Vizquel must not have drawn any interest for a possible full- or even part-time job, because FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that he’s close to signing a one-year deal with the White Sox.
Chicago has Alexei Ramirez entrenched at shortstop and plans to make Gordon Beckham an everyday second baseman after playing him at third base as a rookie, so barring injuries Vizquel would be slated for a strict backup job.
He filled that role nicely this season in Texas, serving as a mentor for 20-year-old standout rookie Elvis Andrus while accumulating fewer than 200 plate appearances for the first time in his 21-year career.
Vizquel has never been much of a hitter, but came close to matching his .273/.338/.355 career line by batting .266/.316/.345 in limited action this season and is one of the few shortstops in baseball history to remain an asset defensively in his 40s. Now that he’s willing to accept a bench role, he’s an ideal backup for a team with young starters up the middle.

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.