Pirates serious about a Justin Upton bid?

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That’s what ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark believes. Color me skeptical.

That doesn’t seem very serious to me. Marte is a fine prospect — the 23-year-old outfielder is hitting .286/.349/.490 for Triple-A Indianapolis this year — but he’s probably not a future star and he doesn’t fill one of the Diamondbacks’ biggest needs.

Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are the Pirates’ top two prospects. Cole ranks as one of the game’s top five pitching prospects, and Taillon, while lacking polish, possesses the same kind of top-of-the-rotation upside. The Diamondbacks would almost certainly hold out for one of the two in an Upton deal, particularly since the Pirates lack the kind of infield prospects the Diamondbacks are looking for.

Cole’s name also came up in Nick Cafardo’s Boston Globe column today. Cafardo talks about the Red Sox possibly dealing Jon Lester, with Cole as one of their top targets in such a move.

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.