No timetable for Alex Cobb’s return from head injury

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Alex Cobb is on the seven-day concussion disabled list after being hit on the head by a line drive Saturday and manager Joe Maddon told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that there’s no timetable yet for the right-hander’s return to the Rays:

He’s feeling a little bit better, obviously not tremendously better. It’s one of those things that’s just going to take some time. My advice to him was to not try to really rush anything, just permit your body to tell you when you’re ready to do the next thing, and I think he’s pretty much accepted that thought.

Maddon added that he thinks “it’s going to be a long process,” which suggests Cobb’s stay on the DL will last well beyond seven days, and the manager was hesitant to talk about whether the team expects Cobb to pitch again this season.

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.