Shane Victorino “on the radar” for the Red Sox, Rangers, Indians and Reds

6 Comments

Shane Victorino is coming off his worst season in the majors, but that hasn’t stopped teams from expressing interest in the free agent outfielder.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Victorino is “on the radar” for the Red Sox, Rangers, Indians and Reds, among other teams in the market for outfield help.

Victorino, who turns 32 later this month, batted .255/.321/.383 with 11 home runs and 55 RBI, 39 stolen bases and a career-low .704 OPS in 154 games this season between the Phillies and Dodgers. While he had a steep and sudden decline from his career-high .847 OPS from last year, Crasnick speculates that he’ll draw interest due to his track record, his experience in big markets and his ability to play all three outfield positions. He also has a penchant for making wonderful GIFs for the whole world to enjoy.

Victorino is in the second tier of free agent center fielders along with Angel Pagan. Both players could function as fallback options for teams who are unable to sign or are uncomfortable with the asking price for the likes of Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton and Torii Hunter.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

Getty Images
4 Comments

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.