Marlins no longer expecting Josh Johnson back before July

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When the Marlins placed Josh Johnson on the disabled list in mid-May their hope was that he’d rejoin the rotation on June 1, but his timetable has repeatedly been pushed back since then and yesterday manager Edwin Rodriguez admitted that “the most optimistic hope” for Johnson’s return is now July.

Rodriguez told Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post that Johnson still needs to throw multiple bullpen sessions and then “have some rehab outings” before potentially being cleared to come off the DL, saying: “We’re talking July for sure.”

To essentially add an entire month (or more) to a pitcher’s return timetable without there being a significant setback involved seems odd, particularly since the initial injury that sent Johnson to the DL was termed merely shoulder inflammation. Johnson, who had a 1.64 ERA in nine starts before being shut down, hasn’t pitched since May 16.

Report: Red Sox sign J.D. Martinez

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Update (5:16 PM ET): ESPN’s Pedro Gomez is reporting that the deal is final.

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.

Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.

The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.

The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.