Cliff Lee's suspension dropped

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ESPN 710’s Shannon Drayer
reports
that Cliff Lee’s suspension for throwing a pitch over the
head of Arizona’s Chris Snyder
during a spring training game has been dropped by Major League Baseball.

Lee’s defense, in a nutshell, was that he had been struggling with his
command early in spring training anyway, and that he really had no
control over the ball that hit sailed past Snyder’s noggin.

And who knows really if that was truly the case? What can be assumed,
however, is that if there is a hint that the real problem was
injury-related, Major League Baseball probably didn’t want to step into
some sort of grievance with the union over it. And I can’t say that I
blame them.

No matter the case, however, this was the right call. Even if there was no injury issue, a suspension seemed pretty out-of-order in this instance. This was a spring training game. Snyder was not hit. To the extent there was any bad blood as a result of it, it happened when Snyder started walking towards the mound.

The non-call is the right call here.

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.