Japanese schoolgirl Eri Yoshida to play pro ball in the United States

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Eri Yoshida 2.jpgJapanese schoolgirl pitcher Eri Yoshida* — fresh off her tutoring session with The Knuckle Knuckle King — has signed with the Chico Outlaws of the independent Golden Baseball League.

Yoshida will be the first woman to play professional baseball in the U.S. since Ila Borders played in the Northern League and Western Baseball League in the late 90s. She will be the first professional baseball player to throw like a girl since Johnny Damon hit the showers after yesterday’s Tigers-Royals game.

*We are obligated to refer to Yoshida as “Japanese schoolgirl” because there are a lot of people who Google that term for some reason.  And if you’re worried that such search engine hi-jinks are going to bring in too many perverts to this site, please know, approximately 83% of hardcore baseball fans already fall into the coveted 18-34 year-old pervert demographic.

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.