Ryan Dempster is not having his best day

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I think a lot of the baseball world has gotten a  jump start on their holiday weekend so there isn’t much news a-happenin’.  There are a couple of games going down, however, one of which — Reds at Cubs — I have on while I’m working.

Fun development a few minutes ago: Ryan Dempster walked Johnny Gomes and Jay Bruce, and then the bases were loaded due to an error by Mike Fontenot.  That brought up the pitcher, Bronson Arroyo.  Dempster walked him on four straight pitches.

The pitcher. On four straight. I mean, sure, Arroyo has a little bit of pop in his bat for a pitcher, but how do you not throw that guy 75-percenters right down the pike and make him put the ball in play? If anyone wonders why Lou Piniella lookes half-dazed all the time, this is the reason why.

Dempster was just pulled after giving up five runs on only two hits. He struck out nine dudes, though, so it was a very LaLooshian performance.  On some weird level I found his scuffling, off-kilter performance quite comforting as background noise on what has turned out to be a bit of a scuffling, off-kilter day.

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.