A's exercise manager Bob Geren's option for 2011

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With a lineup that features very little power and a rotation that is without a veteran presence, the Athletics’ 70-70 record this season is actually quite good.  And quite surprising.  Thus, manager Bob Geren is going to be brought back for the 2011 season.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the A’s have exercised Geren’s option for 2011.

Geren has led Oakland to an uninspiring 296-329 record over his three-plus years in yellow and green, but the club’s higher-ups obviously feel that he is the right man to lead a young A’s roster into the next decade. 

The 58-year-old Geren played for the Yankees and Padres during a five-year major league career.  He got into coaching in the mid-90s, starting in the Red Sox’s minor league system and eventually shifting to the A’s organization in 2000.

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.