John Danks throws seven innings in first rehab start

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John Danks took a big step in his recovery from August shoulder surgery, throwing seven innings at Double-A yesterday.

Danks allowed two runs on five hits and one walk, striking out one. He needed just 86 pitches to record 21 outs and Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports that Danks was working at 87-90 miles per hour with his fastball, topping out at 91 mph. During his career Danks has averaged 91 mph with his fastball, so that’s pretty close to normal.

He’s expected to make at least one more rehab start before potentially coming off the disabled list, but the White Sox rotation could definitely use Danks as soon as possible with Gavin Floyd hurt and Jake Peavy iffy due to back spasms.

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.