42-year-old Jose Contreras was trying to pitch his way onto the Rangers’ roster in March, but ultimately fell short. The right-hander posted a 10.50 ERA in six innings in the Cactus League, which led the Rangers to inform him in mid-March that he wasn’t making the team. That was the final leg in the veteran’s 11-year big league career, or so we thought.
Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that Contreras is not retiring. In fact, he is looking for opportunities in Japan while pitching in Mexico.
It’s unlikely that Contreras will pitch in the Majors again, but stranger things have happened. In five innings at the big league level with the Pirates last season, Contreras allowed five runs on seven hits and six walks in five innings.
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.