Rangers place Mike Napoli on disabled list with oblique strain

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Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram passes along notice that the Rangers have placed catcher Mike Napoli on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique muscle and recalled Taylor Teagarden from Triple-A Round Rock.

Napoli is likely to miss at least three weeks and could be out for as long as a month. The 29-year-old has a healthy .221/.344/.493 batting line through 163 plate appearances this season with 10 home runs and 25 RBI. He’s started 20 games at catcher, 14 games at first base and five games at DH.

Yorvit Torrealba is starting behind the plate in Sunday’s series finale against the Twins and is likely to serve as the Rangers’ primary catcher for the rest of June. Teagarden will operate as Torrealba’s backup, making infrequent starts.

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.