Francisco Cordero hasn’t made a very good first impression in Houston

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Francisco Cordero went from Toronto to Houston as part of last week’s 10-player swap and the Astros, having traded closer Brett Myers and setup man Brandon Lyon, installed Cordero as their new closer.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, it hasn’t worked out very well.

Cordero was terrible for the Blue Jays, throwing 34 innings with a 5.77 ERA and .340 opponents’ batting average, and he’s blown saves (and taken losses) in two of his first three appearances for the Astros.

Tuesday against the Reds he came into the game with a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning and went fly out, single, homer, ground out, walk, wild pitch, walk, single. By the time manager Brad Mills removed Cordero from the game it was a 4-2 deficit.

Last night, also against the Reds, he came into the game with a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning and went double, strikeout, walk, strikeout, double. Mills again removed him from the game before the inning was over, this time with a 4-3 deficit.

So though three games Cordero is 0-2 with two blown saves and a 23.14 ERA while allowing opponents to hit .417 with a 1.367 OPS. And the Astros, who have an MLB-worst 34 wins all season, have let a washed-up 37-year-old closer turn back-to-back ninth-inning leads into back-to-back losses.

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.