Ryan Zimmerman to see specialist for shoulder injury

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Ryan Zimmerman’s shoulder injury showed no improvement after a round of batting practice yesterday, so the Nationals third baseman will be examined by a specialist in Los Angeles.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Zimmerman is expected to get a cortisone shot, which typically knocks players out of action for at least 2-3 days, and a disabled list stint seems all but certain at this point.

Zimmerman has already been on the active roster without being available to play for nearly a week, so continuing to play short-handed makes little sense for the Nationals even though manager Davey Johnson stressed that they’re willing to wait because “he’s our best player.”

Zimmerman initially hurt his shoulder making several diving plays last week and told Kilgore that he’d likely “get a shot and play” through the injury if it was September rather than April. Doing that for 4-5 months isn’t really an option and after missing most of last season with an abdominal injury Zimmerman stressed that taking a long-term view of the situation is his priority.

He signed a six-year, $100 million contract extension in February.

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.