UPDATE, 10:40 PM: From the Marlins’ official Twitter feed comes the bad news: Nolasco indeed has a torn meniscus and has been scratched from his scheduled Sunday start. Andrew Miller will fill in.
UPDATE, 5:48 PM: Sounds like we at least have confirmation of which knee is injured. According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, Nolasco is walking around the clubhouse with a brace on his right knee. More to follow.
5:25 PM: Details are scarce at this time, but Joe Frisaro of MLB.com hears that Ricky Nolasco may have a torn meniscus in one of his knees. The Marlins are reportedly checking to see if that is the case.
Nolasco last pitched on Tuesday, tossing six shutout innings against the Pirates. He was scheduled to pitch again Sunday against the Astros. It’s safe to say that outing is now in doubt.
Just a short while ago, we learned that the Marlins recently began preliminary talks on a contract extension with Nolasco. The 27-year-old right-hander is 14-8 with a 4.22 ERA over 25 starts this season. He is making $3.8 million this season and remains under team control through 2012.
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.