Two sources told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal that Rays bench coach Dave Martinez is the White Sox’s preferred choice to replace Ozzie Guillen in dugout.
It’s not a surprise, as Martinez’s name was one of the first to come up when Guillen’s departure was announced. A 16-year major leaguer, Martinez played with the White Sox from 1995-97.
Martinez could also be a candidate to replace Terry Francona in Boston, though it’s unclear if the Red Sox are as high on him as the White Sox are.
One of Rosenthal’s sources said that former Royals manager Tony Pena, currently the bench coach for the Yankees, is also on the White Sox’s list.
Martinez, 47, has spent the last three seasons as Tampa Bay’s bench coach. He hit .274/.341/.389 with 91 homers and 183 steals with 10 major league teams before retiring after the 2001 season.
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.