Phil Hughes is in the Best Shape of His Life

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Back in November we had our first Best Shape of His Life post of the offseason. It wasn’t a true BSOHL post, just some foreshadowing, as we learned that Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes was going to be in the BSOHL.

But now we have sweet, sweet closure! From Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York:

The Yankees have sent personnel to see Hughes in California this winter and, while they didn’t ask Hughes to strip down to check out what type of shape he is in, the reports are that he looks “great.”

It’s not total closure yet. That comes when all the reporters get to spring training in a few weeks and talk about how so-and-so “looks great” on a first-hand basis, not via word-of-mouth.  If that happens with Hughes — and it will, because that’s how the Yankees’ press corps rolls — we will have what I think is first-ever BSOHL trifecta.  So yes, I’m excited.

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.