Alfredo Simon, facing trial, expected to join O’s on Sunday

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Orioles right-hander Alfredo Simon is still facing manslaughter charges in the New Year’s Eve shooting death of Michel Esteban Castillo back in the Dominican Republic and could face up to two years in prison if convicted guilty.

The Orioles are going to take advantage of his freedom while he’s still got it.

From Avi Zaleon and Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com comes word that Simon will be activated from the restricted list on Sunday and will serve as a long reliever until he’s called to trial in about two months.

Simon has been stretched out for the past couple of weeks in the Orioles’ minor league system and could also make spot starts if necessary.

The 30-year-old right-hander has posted a 3.38 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 17/5 K/BB ratio across 16 innings since joining up with Double-A Bowie last month. He has a 5.64 career ERA in the major leagues.

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.