Rafael Furcal leaves Dodgers to be with sick family member

Leave a comment

Rafael Furcal left the Dodgers and has returned home to the Dominican Republic to be with a sick family member. He’s been placed on the bereavement list, which means Furcal will miss at least three games.
Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports that Furcal called Joe Torre at around one o’clock this morning and the manager told him to “take as long as he needs.”
Furcal has hit well since returning from a month-long stint on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, going 26-for-86 (.302) with eight extra-base hits in 21 games. Chin-lung Hu was called up from Triple-A to take Furcal’s spot on the roster, but Jamey Carroll is expected to be the primary fill-in at shortstop and Blake DeWitt stepped into the leadoff spot for this afternoon’s loss to the Reds.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

Getty Images
3 Comments

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.