Questionable report: Andy Pettitte may want to pitch in 2012

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I’m hesitant to even be that precise about it in the headline because, like so many other reports, it’s source is “Andy Pettitte’s friends.”  And every bogus Andy Pettitte rumor we’ve heard since the end of last season has been attributed to a “friend” of Pettitte’s.

Indeed, looking back on all of them one could easily conclude that either these people whispering to reporters aren’t really Pettitte’s friends or else they’re such good friends that they and Pettitte himself have decided to have a great bit of fun in messing with people.

That said, Phil Rogers passes along word from these guys that Pettitte “definitely won’t pitch this season but isn’t ruling out 2012.”

Let us at this time recall the number of successful comebacks by 40-year-old pitchers who have taken an entire year off … I got zero. Anyone got any more?

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.