Koji Uehara quickly fell out of favor in Texas’ bullpen after coming over in a midseason trade from Baltimore and his name has been linked to various trade rumors all offseason, so not surprisingly Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports that the Rangers are still shopping him.
According to Durrett the Blue Jays are among the teams interested in Uehara, who was incredibly successful for the Orioles prior to the trade and is owed a perfectly reasonable $4 million salary for 2012.
Even with his ugly stint in Texas thrown in Uehara tossed 65 innings with a 2.35 ERA and 85/9 K/BB ratio last season and logged 44 innings with a 2.86 ERA and 55/5 K/BB ratio in 2010, so if the Rangers are looking to dump him mostly for salary relief plenty of teams should be interested in the 36-year-old right-hander.
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.