UPDATE: Oliver Perez moved to the bullpen

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Bad Ollie.jpgUPDATE: Perez has been moved to the bullpen, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.

Kevin Burkhardt of SNY.tv reports that Manuel has yet to name a replacement, but logic dictates that it would be left-hander Hisanori Takahashi. If not, the Mets would need to make a roster move should they choose to pluck R.A. Dickey or Dillon Gee from the minor leagues.

9:01 AM: Mets manager Jerry Manuel wouldn’t come right out and say it, but it would appear Oliver Perez is on his way out of the rotation after his latest implosion against the Marlins on Friday night (quote via Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com).

“I’m concerned with the outings that we’re getting,” Manuel said. “The
last two outings, I have to be concerned with. We have to entertain some
different things.”

Perez was trounced for seven runs over just 3 1/3 innings against the Marlins, tying a career-high by giving up four home runs. He served up three home runs in the fourth inning alone.

The left-hander now has a 5.94 ERA and 1.92 WHIP over his first seven starts, compiling an ugly 27/28 K/BB ratio. Even worse, Perez is 3-7 with a 6.52 ERA and a 89/86 K/BB ratio since signing a three-year, $36 million contract with the Mets following the 2008 season.

So, yes, Perez is likely on the way out of the rotation, but the Mets would need his permission before they send him to the minor leagues. And so, with Scott Boras in tow, there’s a good chance Perez joins Jeff Suppan as one of the game’s most overpriced mop-up men.

Regardless of where Perez goes from here, the most likely candidate to replace him in the rotation is Hisanori Takahashi. The 35-year-old southpaw has a 2.74 ERA over his first 14 major league appearances, compiling an impressive 29/10 K/BB ratio over 23 innings.

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.