Free agent left-hander Joe Saunders has already been linked to the Orioles and now Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that free agent right-hander Edwin Jackson also “intrigues” them.
Connolly speculates that Jackson will wind up with a four-year contract somewhere and notes that “the Orioles have been hesitant” to make that type of commitment to free agent pitchers in the past.
Because of that their focus may be on Saunders, who figures to be available cheaper and for a shorter commitment.
Jackson, much like Prince Fielder, is a Scott Boras client still on the market long after most of the other top free agents have signed, so gauging his remaining options is difficult.
Jackson threw 200 innings with a 3.79 ERA and 148/62 K/BB ratio last season and at age 28 is younger than most free agent starters, but he’s also pitched for six teams in the past seven seasons and owns a 4.46 career ERA.
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.