Matt Garza leaves outing in St. Louis with triceps injury

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Matt Garza is one of the Cubs’ best summer trade chips, but he might suddenly be damaged goods.

According to beat writer Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, the right-hander was removed from Saturday’s game against the Cardinals after just three innings due to cramping in his right triceps. He fell down while trying to cover the first base bag on a double play earlier in the evening, and was later spotted stretching out his arm while chatting with a team trainer in the visitor’s dugout at Busch Stadium.

Garza has posted a solid 3.91 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 96/32 K/BB ratio through 103 2/3 innings this season.

X-rays were taken and came up negative, but the 28-year-old will be reevaluated by a specialist on Sunday. He’ll obviously be difficult to deal before the July 31 deadline if his injury is anything more than minor.

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.