Russell Martin says the Yankees made a mistake in letting him go

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Russell Martin tells the New York Post that the Yankees made a mistake in not retaining him after the 2012 season. But unlike the usual “they should’ve kept me” stuff, Martin is not being emotional about it or trashing his former team out of some sense of being jilted. He’s actually making a spot-on bit of baseball analysis:

“It becomes an expensive mistake, no question . . . They can’t turn back the clock. They went and got a good guy who, offensively, puts up better numbers than I have and so costs a lot of money. I love McCann. They got a good one . . . I think the smart move is not to repeat a mistake. I think they paid the price for not acquiring an everyday catcher — or keeping one — and they went and got a good one this year.”

I don’t think there’s anyway to analyze the McCann signing without acknowledging that letting Martin go was a mistake. But apart from vague references to baseball being “just a business,” it’s not that often you hear a ballplayer look at some move involving himself in such objective terms.

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.