Andrew Bailey was off to a great start this season prior to landing on the disabled list earlier this month with right biceps inflammation, but the Red Sox are hoping the issue is behind him.
According to Evan Drellich of MassLive.com, Bailey had no issues during a bullpen session this afternoon and is slated to make a minor league rehab appearance Saturday with Triple-A Pawtucket. If all goes well, he’s expected to be activated for Monday’s series opener against the White Sox in Chicago.
Bailey will get the closer role back from Junichi Tazawa as soon as he rejoins the club, but Farrell wants there to be an open line of communication about his health moving forward.
“The one thing we spoke about at length was to be sure that we get a true read on how he feels after each outing and to balance recovery time and his availability,” Farrell said.
Bailey had a 1.46 ERA, five saves and 20/4 K/BB ratio over 12 1/3 innings prior to the injury. He hasn’t thrown more than 49 innings in a season since his rookie season in 2009.
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.