Rays release Erik Bedard and Juan Carlos Oviedo

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times confirms that the Rays have released left-hander Erik Bedard and right-hander Juan Carlos Oviedo. Both will be free to sign elsewhere tomorrow.

Bedard was designated for assignment last week after set-up man Joel Peralta was activated from the disabled list. The 35-year-old southpaw has spent most of this season in the Rays’ rotation, posting a 4.76 ERA and 64/29 K/BB ratio in 75 2/3 innings across 15 starts and two relief appearances.

Oviedo was given the boot last weekend when Jeremy Hellickson rejoined the Rays’ rotation. After missing all of last season following Tommy John surgery, the 32-year-old got off to a good start this year, but he wore out his welcome after allowing 10 runs over his final 15 appearances.

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.