Good news from David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as Jair Jurrjens is scheduled to make his exhibition debut against the Yankees on Thursday.
Jurrjens gave Braves fans quite the scare upon arriving to camp last month after he experienced some soreness in his pitching shoulder. After an MRI revealed only mild inflammation, Jurrjens was sidelined for the first two weeks of camp, however as O’Brien points out, he has quickly progressed from long-tossing in the outfield to taking on the World Champions within the space of 11 days. Impressive. Jurrjens is scheduled to throw a live batting practice session on Tuesday in preparation for his Grapefruit League debut.
The 24-year-old right-hander was 14-10 with a 2.60 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 34 starts last season, logging 215 innings. He’ll feature prominently in a rotation that figures to be a strength this season.
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.