Jonathan Sanchez makes the Pirates rotation

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Pieces falling into place for Pittsburgh:

 

Not sure what makes that sound like more of a threat: the all-caps or the fact that it involves Jonathan Sanchez having a prominent role here.

Which, look, I’m not meaning to hate. I want the Pirates to break the string of sub-.500 seasons because people in Pittsburgh are nice people and good baseball fans and it would mean a lot and be great story and all of that. But man, if Jonathan Sanchez makes your rotation, and if he’s not even the fifth starter, which he likely isn’t here, you have a pretty precipitous falloff afoot.

I feel like that no-hitter a few years ago is keeping him in the league way longer than he would have been otherwise. I also feel like the Pirates are gonna be shuffling around the back end of that rotation before the calendar hits May.

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.