Giancarlo Stanton returns from DL after missing 25 games

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Giancarlo Stanton was expected to miss 4-6 weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery on July 8 and sure enough he’s back from the disabled list one day short of a month later.

Stanton returns after missing 25 games, during which the Marlins went 8-17 to fall out of contention and into a last-place tie in the NL East.

Stanton initially tried to play through loose bodies in his knee, but was in and out of the lineup before ultimately deciding to go under the knife. Prior to being shut down he hit .284 with 19 homers, 20 doubles, and a career-high .919 OPS in 80 games and made his first All-Star team.

He went 5-for-16 with two homers on a brief minor-league rehab assignment at Single-A.

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.