Brett Anderson close to facing hitters for first time since Tommy John surgery

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Here’s some good news for a promising pitcher.

Brett Anderson told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he’s scheduled for a light bullpen session tomorrow in preparation to face hitters Friday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery last July.

Anderson expects to face hitters two or three times before going on a minor league rehab assignment. He’ll likely need the entirety of his 30-day rehab window to get ready, so he projects to join the Athletics’ rotation by mid-August if all goes well.

Anderson was emerging as one of the game’s best young left-handed starters prior to the surgery, posting a 3.66 ERA through 62 major league starts. The 24-year-old is under contract for $5.5 million next season while the A’s hold club options for 2014 and 2015.

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.