Arthur Rhodes interested in returning to Reds next season

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Here’s a little news item while we await the start of Game 4 between the Giants and Braves.

Reflecting on a season that resulted in the first All-Star selection of his career and a trip to the postseason, Arthur Rhodes told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com today that he is interested in returning to the Reds next season.

“I already told them that I want to come back, that I’d love to come
back,” Rhodes said. “I’ve had a wonderful time here. I’ve enjoyed
myself. We’ll see what happens in the offseason.”

Rhodes, who turns 41 later this month, posted a 2.41 ERA in 135 appearances over the length of his two-year, $4 million contract with the Reds. The veteran left-hander tied a major league record with 33 consecutive scoreless appearances earlier this season.

Rhodes projects to be a Type A free agent this winter, but offering arbitration isn’t necessarily a given. Many teams will be unwilling to surrender a first round pick in order to sign a reliever, so there’s always the chance that he could accept arbitration, sticking the Reds with a pretty hefty contract for an aging left-hander who was bothered by plantar fasciitis throughout the 2010 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.