Allen Craig departs game with left foot sprain

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Cardinals slugger Allen Craig hit a game-tying RBI single in the top of the fourth inning of Wednesday night’s tilt against the Reds, but he got tangled up a few feet beyond the first base bag with umpire Laz Diaz and planted awkwardly on his left ankle.

Craig was on the ground for a while — allowing the Reds to tag him out — and the initial worry was that he might have done something bad to his right knee, which had to be surgically repaired prior to the 2012 season. But replay of the injury clearly shows a left ankle tweak and Craig eventually walked over to the visitor’s dugout at Great American Ball Park under his own power. Matt Adams came on to fill in at first base in the bottom of the fourth.

Craig is hitting .315/.373/.457 with 13 homers and 97 RBI in 134 games this year. He’s likely day-to-day.

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UPDATE, 9:24 p.m. ET: Craig has been diagnosed with a left foot sprain. He’ll be reevaluated Thursday.

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.