The D.C. Metro will run late for Nats playoff games

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A deal has been struck in Washington which will allow the Metro to run late to accommodate Nationals playoff games which may do the same. But the Nats aren’t paying for it. And neither is the city:

Metro will announce Thursday afternoon that a “third party” will fund extended service during any playoff game that ends late, according to a person familiar with the deal. The private entity will put down the $29,500 deposit required by Metro to keep the trains running for an extra hour.

I wonder who this “third party” is? I hope it’s Stephen Strasburg, trying his hardest to be a part of the Nats drive for a world championship.

UPDATE: Not Strasburg. It’s Living Social.  I guess that’s good advertising. I have no idea. I tend to think — based on gut instinct more than any knowledge of how these things work — that most solo sponsorship deals are kind off odd and I question if they’re worth the bang for the sponsor’s buck.

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.