From beat writer Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com:
JUPITER, Fla. — The Cardinals are delaying comment on the results of Jaime Garcia’s exam with team physician George Paletta until after the left-hander visits orthopedist James Andrews for a second opinion on Wednesday.
Garcia began experiencing discomfort in his left shoulder last weekend and flew back to St. Louis on Sunday to have an MRI. Langosch notes that Garcia requested Wednesday’s visit with Andrews, but that doesn’t make it any less ominous.
Garcia was limited to nine starts in 2013 due to May shoulder surgery and struggled with elbow issues in 2012. The 27-year-old southpaw owns an impressive 3.45 ERA and 55.5 percent groundball rate in 551 total major league innings, but arm injuries are now threatening to completely derail his career.
You can probably lock in Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller, and Lance Lynn for St. Louis’ season-opening starting rotation. The final spot likely comes down to Joe Kelly or Carlos Martinez.
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.