The Dodgers inquired about Cliff Lee

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Cliff Lee headshot Mariners.jpgYesterday I inferred that the Dodgers had made inquiries about Roy Oswalt. That was confimed by the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin last night. And Shaikin goes one better: The Dodgers asked about Cliff Lee’s availability as well.  The Mariners, like the Astros, rejected Colletti’s overtures.

Either move makes sense for the Dodgers, who really could use a pitcher. It’s just too early, methinks, for this kind of deal to happen, because the Astros and Mariners would be silly not to wait a while and see who finds themselves in more dire need of pitching between now and July.

Someone is going to get hurt. Some team is going to go on a skid that makes them panicky.  When that happens, Lee and Oswalt will bring higher prices than Ned Colletti is willing to offer right now.

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.