Teaching Brett Lawrie to rein himself in

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Shi Davidi of Sportsnet has an interesting column on the education of Brett Lawrie.  Specifically, his demeanor towards the umps in light of his helmet toss last week and this week’s incident in which he ran across the field to confront an ump following a disputed call on the base paths.

After the latter call, manager John Farrell pulled Lawrie aside and seemed to get into it with him a bit:

“He was telling me his thoughts at the time, that he went to get an explanation,” said Farrell. “And he goes ‘Am I not allowed to do that?’ I said, ‘You’re allowed to ask an umpire anything that’s on your mind. But when you sprint at him, the body language speaks volumes.’

That’s the real issue. Umps, like anyone, hate to be shown up and no one likes to be berated. If a call goes against you, and you throw crap or sprint across the field to get up in their face, you’re gonna have a bad time of it. Lawrie will have to figure that out one way or the other.

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.