Blake DeWitt won the second base job outright this spring, but he has struggled early and may soon be out of a job, writes Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times. His 0-5 on Wednesday was probably the kicker, as Dilbeck notes that Joe Torre said encouraging things about him before that game, and then yesterday (a) voiced some disapproval of DeWitt’s performance and (b) benched him for the game against the Dbacks (DeWitt did come in late, got a hit and scored the winning run).
The knock on DeWitt at second base had been his defense. Now he could get benched in favor of Ron Belliard, himself no master with the leather. No one said life is fair, I suppose.
I wasn’t a fan of him getting as many plate appearances as he did at third base in 2008, but I figured his bat could hack second and wouldn’t mind if Torre showed a bit more patience with the guy.
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.