Nationals sign Xavier Nady to minor league contract

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Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports that the Nationals have reached agreement on a minor league contract with outfielder Xavier Nady.

The deal does not come with an invitation to major league spring training, meaning the 33-year-old will be stationed in minor league camp in Viera, Florida with no chance of cracking the Opening Day roster. But those terms should come as no surprise.

Nady struggled mightily to attract free agent interest this offseason after batting .248/.287/.359 with four home runs and 35 RBI in 82 games last year for the Diamondbacks. He fractured his left hand in early-August and was unable to return to action.

Nady hit .305/.357/.510 in 2008 between the Pirates and Yankees with 25 homers and 97 RBI in 148 games. But that was by far the best year of his career, and he hasn’t come close to that level of production since.

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.