Orioles defeat Brad Bergesen in arbitration hearing

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Brad Bergesen lost his arbitration hearing to the Orioles, so he’ll make $800,000 this season instead of the $1.2 million he requested.

He was arbitration eligible for the first time after throwing 101 innings with a 5.70 ERA and 61/32 K/BB ratio in 12 starts and 22 relief appearances.

Bergesen was much better in his first two seasons, posting a 4.33 ERA in 293 innings, but his lack of strikeouts made it tough to predict a breakout. He’ll be competing for a rotation spot during spring training, but way wind up in a long relief role instead.

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun notes that the Orioles have now won nine of their last ten arbitration hearings. Maybe the Marlins should ask them for some tips.

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.