Cancer claims former Reds right-hander Pedro Borbon

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Pedro Borbon, a member of the Big Red Machine and one of the top relievers of his generation, passed away Monday after fighting cancer. He was 65.

Borbon spent 12 years in the majors, 10 of them with the Reds from 1970-79. He was an elite reliever from 1972-77, throwing at least 120 innings each of the six years. He had his best season in 1973, finishing with 11 wins, 14 saves and a 2.16 ERA in 80 appearances.

Overall, Borbon went 69-39 with a 3.52 ERA in 593 career appearances, all but four of them coming out of the pen. He pitched for two World Series champions with the Reds and had a 2.42 ERA in 26 career postseason innings.

Borbon was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2010.

“The entire organization is very sad to hear of the loss of another member of our baseball family,” Reds owner Bob Castellini said. “Pedro was an important contributor to the success of the Big Red Machine, and he always will be remembered for his colorful personality and his contributions to that wonderful time period in our history.”

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.