Report: White Sox target Yankees prospect Dellin Betances in trade talks

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From The Trentonian’s Josh Norris, maybe the best minor league best writer around, comes word that the White Sox have scouted Dellin Betances’  last three starts and are attempting to trade for the Yankees prospect.

Betances’ stock has tumbled this year, with the 6-foot-8 right-hander getting demoted to Double-A Trenton after going 3-5 with a 6.39 ERA and a 71/69 K/BB ratio in 74 2/3 innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He has been quite a bit better since the move, going 1-1 with a 2.41 ERA and a 20/7 K/BB ratio in 18 2/3 innings (though with five unearned runs).

Still, even with Betances’ stock down, it’s hard to see how a deal would work here. The White Sox certainly aren’t looking to sell veterans, and while they’ve steadily produced major leaguers these last few years, their minor league system isn’t very well regarded. Plus, the simple fact that the White Sox are high on him should give the Yankees pause about dealing him. They’re the same team that took the lightly regarded Jose Quintana from them over the winter and quickly turned him into a major league starter.

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.