George Steinbrenner: from criminal to FBI informant

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It’s been a great day for George Steinbrenner Freedom of Information Act requests. Earlier today was the release of documents in which The Boss suggested that his lawyers forced him to blatantly campaign finance laws.  Now comes word that, in the runup to getting a pardon from President Reagan, Big Stein assisted the FBI … somehow:

The FBI released documents Monday stating that New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner assisted the agency in two investigations – one of them apparently a terrorism probe – in the years leading up to his pardon by President Ronald Reagan on a campaign-contributions conviction.

Anti-terrorism is a noble thing, but I wonder what the second investigation was. An investigation in which, according to the FBI, Steinbrenner “provided the FBI with valuable assistance.”

That memo came in 1988, so I’m going to assume it was Don Slaught or Mike Pagliarulo-related.  Your guesses in the comments.

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.