David Robertson has been sidelined for nearly a month with a left oblique strain, but the Yankees could finally have him back in their bullpen for Friday’s series opener against the Nationals.
According to Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com, Robertson tossed a scoreless inning in his first rehab appearance yesterday with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Yankees manager Joe Girardi is optimistic that he’ll be ready to go after just one more appearance tomorrow.
“We’re just looking for him to have his arm back in shape,” Girardi told Bloom. “Just making sure he can bounce back if he throws a day. I heard no complaints today, so that’s a good thing.”
Robertson was given the first crack at the closer role in the aftermath of Mariano Rivera’s torn right ACL, but he joined the all-time saves leader on the disabled list less than two weeks later. Of course, Rafael Soriano then took advantage by tossing eight shutout innings while going a perfect 8-for-8 in save opportunities. While his impressive streak finally came to an end yesterday against the Mets, he’s expected to keep the closer gig upon Robertson’s return.
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.