Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis was lifted early from Thursday’s game against the Orioles after jamming his hip while trying to break up a double play. He’s been able to stay active and productive, but that hip discomfort still remains.
According to associate reporter Evan Drellich of MLB.com, Youk had to be pulled in the seventh inning of Saturday evening’s 2-0 loss to the Mariners and is likely to rest on Sunday.
Here’s Red Sox manager Terry Francona:
“It’s the same hip. It got stiff again. We’re going to have to check him out again. We don’t want it to linger, and I don’t think it will as long as we keep an eye on it.”
In situations like this, safe is usually smart. Youkilis, 32, is batting just .218 on the season but boasts a solid .879 OPS, five home runs and 15 RBI through 102 plate appearances. He’ll be back on Monday.
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.