Curse of the Nate McLouth trade strikes the Pirates too

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Yesterday the Braves demoted struggling center fielder Nate McLouth to Triple-A after he hit just .168 in 62 games this season and .225/.327/.365 in 146 games since Atlanta acquired him from Pittsburgh last June for prospects Gorkys Hernandez, Jeff Locke, and Charlie Morton.
Morton is 6-18 with a 6.03 ERA in 28 starts for Pittsburgh since the trade and just hours after McLouth’s demotion the Pirates announced that Hernandez will miss the next 3-4 months with a broken finger suffered at Double-A.
Locke has somehow avoided the curse of being involved in the swap, going 10-3 with a 3.22 ERA and 100/16 K/BB ratio in 103 innings between Single-A and Double-A.

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.