Garrett Atkins willing to play at Triple-A for another team, but not Orioles

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Designated for assignment over the weekend, Garrett Atkins said he’s not willing to accept an assignment to Triple-A from the Orioles but would “definitely be willing” to sign a minor-league deal with another team once Baltimore lets him go.
Atkins hasn’t been a productive hitter since 2007, although for a while at least calling Coors Field home helped mask his decline somewhat. However, he’s batted just .223 with a .299 on-base percentage and .326 slugging percentage in 170 games dating back to the start of last season.
So while Atkins should have little trouble securing a minor-league contract his actually playing well enough at Triple-A to make it back to the majors is far from a sure thing.

Report: Red Sox, J.D. Martinez close to a deal

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.

Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.

The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.

The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.