Freddy Garcia’s minor league deal with the Orioles gave him the ability to opt out if he wasn’t called up to the majors by his fifth start with Triple-A Norfolk, but MASNSports’ Roch Kubatko reports that he has agreed to stick around until May 14. In other words, the Orioles have bought themselves another two weeks.
Garcia was released by the Padres after a poor showing during spring training, but he has pitched well so far at the Triple-A level. Through five starts, the 36-year-old right-hander has a 2.67 ERA and 21/2 K/BB ratio over 33 2/3 innings.
Garcia was passed up for a start last week in favor of Josh Stinson, but there could be an opportunity for him with the big club in the coming days. Of course, if he keeps pitching well in Triple-A and the Orioles don’t call him up, he probably wouldn’t have a problem finding an opportunity elsewhere.
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.