Texas is reportedly shopping reliever Koji Uehara, but that didn’t stop the Rangers from adding some bullpen depth by signing right-hander Sean Green and left-hander Mitch Stetter to minor-league contracts.
Both pitchers will get invitations to spring training, although it’ll be tough for them to claim spots in the Rangers’ deep bullpen even if Uehara is traded.
Green has been a pretty typical middle reliever, with a 4.41 career ERA, mediocre strikeout rates, and iffy control to go along with a high-80s fastball. His biggest strength is inducing ground balls and avoiding homers, which could play well in Texas if he ever got the opportunity.
Stetter was very effective for the Brewers in 2008 and 2009, but the 31-year-old lefty has spent most of the past two seasons in the minors or on the disabled list and even when healthy his fastball tops out in the mid-80s.
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.