Jered Weaver becomes first AL pitcher to reach 20 wins this season

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It’s silly to put much stock in pitcher wins, but it’s still noteworthy when someone gets there.

Jered Weaver became the first American League pitcher to reach 20 victories this season with a 7-4 win over the Rangers last night. Most importantly, it helped the Angels keep pace with the Athletics and Orioles, who also won last night. The Angels sit two games behind the Athletics for the second Wild Card spot and three games behind the Orioles with five left to play.

Weaver allowed two runs over seven innings while striking out five and walking a pair. He has won four straight starts and now holds a 2.73 ERA and 141/43 K/BB ratio over 187 2/3 innings in 29 starts this season. Probably not enough to top David Price or Justin Verlander for the American League Cy Young Award, but still pretty fantastic.

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.