Expanded replay approved for World Series … in Little League

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Bud Selig has no plans to expand replay, but his Little League counterparts have voted to revise their replay system to “include more plays, including force outs, tags on base paths, missed bases, and hit batters.”
Here’s more from the Associated Press:

Umpires will still have the option to call for a replay, though managers will now be allowed to challenge calls or request a replay if umpires don’t ask for one. Managers would be limited to one unsuccessful replay challenge in the first six innings, and one unsuccessful challenge in extra innings. A replay team–an umpire who is not on the field and a Little League official–would review up to 12 camera angles provided by ESPN and decide whether to reverse the call.

The new system will be instituted when this year’s Little League World Series begins on August 20.

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.