Chipper Jones was quite vocal earlier this week that he didn’t want to go on a minor league rehab assignment, but it appears that he’ll respect the wishes of his manager Fredi Gonzalez.
According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jones will play rehab games with Class A Rome on Saturday and Sunday. Assuming all goes well, he should rejoin the Braves for Monday’s series opener against the Yankees in Atlanta.
Jones is currently working his way back from surgery on May 27 to drain a hematoma from his lower left leg. The 40-year-old was initially diagnosed with a left calf contusion after he was hit in the lower leg by a line drive off the bat of Rays’ outfielder B.J. Upton on May 18, but surgery was deemed necessary after his condition intensified.
Jones’ farewell tour has already included two trips to the disabled list, but he has been plenty productive when in the lineup this season, hitting .307/.377/.485 with five homers, 24 RBI and an .862 OPS in 114 plate appearances.
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.