Jeff Suppan close to rejoining Brewers' rotation

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When the Brewers placed Jeff Suppan on the disabled list last week there was some speculation that the move was made in part to delay a decision on whether or not to add the 35-year-old right-hander to the rotation.
However, today’s news that he’s slated to come off the shelf following just one minor-league rehab outing suggests otherwise. Suppan is scheduled to start Friday at Single-A, and if all goes well with his neck injury could be activated for a start as soon as next Wednesday against the Cubs.
Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Suppan will rejoin the rotation while both Manny Parra and Chris Narveson remain in the bullpen, with the 36-year-old’s $12.5 million salary no doubt playing a factor even if the Brewers don’t want to admit it.
“We could have a number of No. 5 starters over the course of the year,” manager Ken Macha said. “Right now, we’re going in this direction. Production will be a big part of it. You could make a case for all three guys.”
Suppan went 7-12 with a 5.29 ERA in 30 starts last season, giving up 200 hits and 74 walks in 161.2 innings for the second-most baserunners per nine innings of any pitcher with 25 or more starts. Of course, the only guy to allow more baserunners per nine innings was Parra, so it’s a lesser-of-two-evils situation for Macha and the Brewers.

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.