Patrick Corbin underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in March and some pitchers return in 12 months, but the Diamondbacks have all but ruled out the 25-year-old left-hander for the beginning of next season.
In fact, manager Kirk Gibson told Scott Bodrow of the Arizona Republic that they’re targeting June for Corbin’s return, adding:
He’d probably punch me if heard me saying that but you’re really going to take your time and make sure he’s ready to go. You’re not going to expect him to come back and throw 220 innings. You kind of manage his rehab through innings and put him in a position to finish strong. We’re going to make sure we err on the side of very cautious.
Arizona watching as Daniel Hudson needed back-to-back Tommy John surgeries and several of the organization’s other prominent pitchers blew out their elbows recently probably pushed them further down the conservative approach, which is certainly fine. Prior to going under the knife Corbin threw 208 innings with a 3.41 ERA and 178 strikeouts as a 23-year-old in 2013. They need him for the next half-decade, not the first couple months of next season.
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.