Pirates to pick Jameson Taillon at No. 2, Orioles like Manny Machado at No. 3

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Bryce Harper going to the Nationals with the No. 1 pick is a foregone conclusion at this point and Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Pirates have decided on high school pitcher Jameson Taillon with the second pick in tonight’s draft.
Taillon is a 6-foot-7 right-hander from Texas who throws in the mid-90s, ranking as the second-best prospect in this year’s draft behind only Harper according to both Baseball America and ESPN. MLB.com has some video of Taillon overpowering high school hitters, so Pirates fans can take time away from another losing season to drool over him.
Assuming that Harper goes No. 1 to the Nationals and Taillon goes No. 2 to the Pirates, the Orioles are expected to use the third overall pick on high school shortstop Manny Machado. Baltimore reportedly is prepared to take whichever one of Taillon or Machado goes undrafted by Pittsburgh, as those two and Harper are the top three guys on basically everyone’s draft board. Naturally then, the Royals pick fourth.

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.