Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Video: Brandon Phillips joins the 2,000 hit club

6 Comments

Braves infielder Brandon Phillips became the 286th member of the 2,000 hit club on Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader against the Phillies. In the top of the first inning with a runner on second base and no outs, Phillips sent a 2-2 Jerad Eickhoff curve into shallow center field for an RBI single.

Phillips joins Adrian Gonzalez and teammate Nick Markakis as players who have recently joined the 2,000 hit club. Next up on the list is Twins first baseman Joe Mauer, who is at 1,949. Chase Utley, the active player closest behind Mauer, is more than 100 hits behind.

Phillips, 36, is in his 16th season in the majors. For the first 15 years, he was a full-time second baseman, but the Braves moved him to third base to make room for prospect Ozzie Albies at second. Phillips entered Wednesday’s action batting .293/.331/.427 with 11 home runs, 51 RBI, and 67 runs scored in 493 plate appearances.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

Getty Images
7 Comments

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.