Kevin Youkilis placed on 60-day DL, done for season

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Update: Boston made it official, placing Youkilis on the 60-day disabled list to open up a roster for Clay Buchholz prior to Wednesday’s game.

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Kevin Youkilis hasn’t officially been ruled out for the playoffs if the Red Sox end up winning the Wild Card, but manager Terry Francona indicated today that he’s not expecting to have him back in the lineup before 2012.

“The writing is kind of on the wall,” Francona told Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. “I don’t think you’re going to see him play again. I wish he would, and he’s tried so hard and he’s been open to doing anything. I just don’t know that’s going to happen.”

Youkilis hasn’t played since September 15 because of hip bursitis and a sports hernia, which he’ll need surgery to fix at some point during the offseason. In his absence Jed Lowrie and Mike Aviles have split time at third base, but not being able to count on Youkilis’ middle-of-the-order bat is a tough break for Boston.

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.