Buck Showalter’s optimism about the status of Manny Machado’s left knee was not unfounded.
According to Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles announced at a press conference on Tuesday evening at Camden Yards that Machado did not suffer any ACL or MCL damage when he tweaked his knee at first base on Monday afternoon in Tampa Bay. The young star has been diagnosed with a torn medial patella tendon ligament and could begin light running within the next 6-8 weeks. He does not need surgery and the hope is that he will be back to full health by the opening of spring training in 2014.
The 21-year-old former third-overall pick batted .283/.314/.432 with 14 home runs, 51 doubles and 71 RBI in 156 games this season for Baltimore.
He also had six stolen bases, scored 88 runs and played excellent defense at third base.
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.