Chase Utley passes concussion test, cleared to work out

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Good news for all you tortured Phillies fans.

According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, second baseman Chase Utley passed his ImPACT concussion test Saturday with flying colors and has been cleared to resume baseball activities.

Utley was diagnosed with a mild concussion Wednesday after he was struck on the top of his batting helmet by an Eric O’Flaherty pitch.

He’s no longer experiencing concussion-related symptoms, but the first-place Phillies will continue to employ a precautionary strategy. Utley, despite his progress, probably won’t return to the Philadelphia starting lineup until the end of next week. He is scheduled to take another ImPACT test on Monday morning.

The 32-year-old is batting .262/.344/.441 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI through 88 games this season.

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.