Ozzie Guillen talks about his future, Cubs vacancy

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The baseball world seems to have a love-hate relationship with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.  He’s honest, and we all like honesty.  Or, at least we pretend to like honesty.  But he’s also loud and somewhat egotistical, and maybe even a little crazy.

Guillen let loose on Saturday when asked about his future with the White Sox and whether he had any interest in heading to the north side of Chicago next season.  Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times has the goods.

“If [owner] Jerry [Reinsdorf] don’t want me, yes,” Guillen said. “My position was I would
never sign another place and leave the White Sox for the Cubs because of
the respect for Jerry. But if Jerry is leaving me? I not leaving them,
they are leaving me. Then, I have a choice to make. Everything is out
there.  As soon as you get divorced, you are free to do whatever you want.”

Guillen made sure to explain this his “first, second and third” choice would be to remain with the White Sox.  But he wants a commitment from the team and the speculation that he might be let go has clearly found its way under his skin.

The White Sox will miss the playoffs this year for a second consecutive season.  Still, our guess is that he stays.  Reinsdorf likes him, general manager Kenny Williams likes him, and players seem to enjoy playing for him.  Plus, it’s not like the White Sox were completely out of contention all year.  The Twins simply ran away with the division crown down the stretch.

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.