Trevor Bauer might be ready for his closeup in Cleveland

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Trevor Bauer was impressive in his one-start call-up to the Indians last week and kept things rolling in his return to Triple-A yesterday, throwing six shutout innings with nine strikeouts versus just one walk.

Arizona soured on Bauer, which is how he ended up in Cleveland, and his control problems caused his prospect stock to drop considerably last season. Still, he’s only 23 years old and the former No. 3 overall pick appears to be very close to putting everything together in a big way.

Combined between Triple-A and the Indians this season Bauer has thrown 18 innings with a 1.00 ERA and 26/5 K/BB ratio. His raw stuff has always been No. 1 starter-caliber and he’s always generated a ton of strikeouts, but if the Indians have gotten Bauer to consistently throw strikes they could have something pretty special very soon. And the Diamondbacks may soon regret selling him for pennies on the dollar.

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.