The Cubs were among the teams that scouted Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon earlier this week in Arizona, but it doesn’t appear as though the free agent right-hander will be heading to Wrigleyville.
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune has heard from sources that the Cubs are turned off by Yoon’s desire for a multi-year major league contract and are “unlikely to get into a bidding war for his services.”
Yoon, who has been represented by Scott Boras since he won the Korean Baseball Organization MVP in 2011, is also believed to be drawing interest from the Rangers, Orioles, Giants, Dodgers, and Twins.
The 27-year-old converted to the bullpen last year following a shoulder injury, but he’s had great success in the past as a starter. Yoon posted a 2.45 ERA and 178 strikeouts in 172 1/3 innings for the Kia Tigers in 2011.
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.