After beginning the season in a 0-for-38 slump against left-handed pitching Adam Dunn got yesterday off versus one of the league’s toughest lefties, Red Sox ace Jon Lester.
Ozzie Guillen talked previously about being patient with Dunn, but the manager has since moved him from the No. 3 spot in the batting order and is now sitting him altogether against certain pitchers, which certainly isn’t what the White Sox signed up for when they gave him a four-year, $56 million deal as a free agent this winter.
With an OPS above .850 in seven straight seasons Dunn is too good to remain in this season-long slump for long, but his struggles against lefties may not go away even when he gets back on track overall. Dunn’s career numbers versus southpaws are good, but even before going 0-for-38 off them this year he hit just .199 off them in 2010 and hasn’t had an OPS above .800 against lefties since 2006.
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.