Bill Mazeroski memorabilia auction brings in $1.7 million

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Pirates Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski put his gold gloves and the gear he was wearing during Game 7 of the 1960 World Series up for auction. And it brought a pretty nice haul: $1.7 million.

The buyer of most of the stuff was Thomas Tull, a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the CEO of Legendary Pictures. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review spoke to Milene Mazeroski, who was pleased with the proceeds and the fact that the stuff will go to someone with Pittsburgh ties.

We’ve seen a lot of these memorabilia auctions recently. My first impulse when I see them is to think that so-and-so player is in financial trouble. But reading this story and many of the others, you get a pretty strong sense that, for most of these guys, the memories are way more important than the hardware, which eventually just becomes clutter.

I kinda like that.

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.