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Report: Unlikely the Mets keep Terry Collins beyond this season

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Though the Mets’ disappointing season can’t be blamed on manager Terry Collins, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports says it’s unlikely the skipper is kept beyond this season. Collins has an expiring contract, which makes for a clean transition.

The Mets lost on Thursday afternoon to the Diamondbacks and now sit with a 55-71 record, good for fourth place in the NL East. It seems the club has had bad news roll in every day. They’ve played most of the year without Noah Syndergaard and the whole year without David Wright. Meanwhile, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Seth Lugo, Neil Walker, and Asdrubal Cabrera — among others — have all been injured at some point.

Heyman quotes an unnamed rival executive, who said, “If [Collins] had all those pitchers, it’d be a different story.” And it’s true.

Collins’ ouster won’t be popular as he’s well-regarded within the organization and by his players. He led the team to the World Series in 2015, the club’s first postseason appearance since 2006. They made the playoffs again last year, but lost the Wild Card game to the Giants. Overall, he’s 536-562 (.488) in the regular season over seven years as the Mets’ manager.

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.