Evan Longoria has minor setback on rehab assignment

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The Rays were hoping to get Evan Longoria back on Friday night. But that’s highly unlikely to happen.

From beat writer Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times comes word that Longo felt renewed soreness in his left hamstring after playing consecutive rehab games on Sunday and Monday at Triple-A Durham and will be shut down until at least Thursday.

It’s not a re-injury of any kind, but Longoria has missed close to two full months with a partially torn left hamstring and is now having lingering problems with it. There has to be some level of concern among the Rays medical staff that the 26-year-old third baseman will be fighting this stuff even after he’s activated from the disabled list.

Longoria was batting .329/.433/.561 with 19 RBI through his first 23 games played this season.

The Rays are currently three games back of an American League Wild Card spot.

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.