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Grant Dayton to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Dodgers’ rookie reliever Grant Dayton is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. The left-hander felt a popping sensation in his elbow during warm-ups last Friday and underwent two rounds of testing while the Dodgers tried to pinpoint the injury.

Dayton, 29, is in his second campaign with the Dodgers. He pitched just 23 2/3 innings for the big league club in 2017, earning a 4.94 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 in 29 relief appearances before succumbing to a bout of neck stiffness. The elbow problems surfaced during his rehab stint in Double-A Tulsa, where he was preparing for a one-week stay before transferring to Triple-A Oklahoma City to finish out the remainder of his stint on the 10-day disabled list.

The Dodgers have yet to announce a concrete timeline for Dayton’s return, but he appears likely to miss the majority of the 2018 season during the estimated year-long recovery process.

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.