Torre to make decision on retirement around Labor Day

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Dodgers manager Joe Torre told reporters on Saturday afternoon that he will make an announcement about his future sometime after Labor Day.  Torre, who turned 70 in early July, is weighing whether to retire or continue his role as Los Angeles’ skipper.

Torre said that he still enjoys managing and is “very comfortable” in his current role, but does not want to make a decision and cause a distraction before the Dodgers’ playoff hopes have gained a little more clarity.  For now, the club is nine games back of the Padres in the National League West and 6.5 games back of the Giants in the hunt for the Wild Card.

It’s been a disappointing season to say the least, but the Dodgers have a great young nucleus of talent and that job will draw some major candidates if Torre does decide to leave.

The veteran skipper has a 2305-1972 managerial record.  He won six pennants and four World Series titles with the Yankees but has not led another team that far.  The Torre-led Dodgers lost in last year’s NLCS to the Phillies.  It appears they will miss the playoffs this season.

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.