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Wild Card, Division Series schedule, start times through Saturday released

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Major League Baseball announced the start times for the two Wild Card games and the Division Series games through Saturday.

The takeaway: if you’re a fan of the Red Sox or Astros and you work a typical day job, be prepared to either take off work or else wait until Game Three to see any action, as both of the first two games of that series will begin in the afternoon. If you want to watch Game One of the Dodgers vs. NL Wild Card winner game on Friday and you don’t live on the west coast, boil some coffee and prepare yourself for a long night.

As the for Sox and Astros daytime games, Fox and Major League Baseball apparently felt that not having two playoff games going on at the same time was preferable to a larger audience being able to see the early game. I suppose they know what they’re doing as far as TV ratings and things go, but this will no doubt annoy some folks in Boston and Houston. As for the Dodgers first game: it’s a large country, time zones are a thing and, really, it’s way better for the folks in Los Angeles and either Phoenix or Denver to be able to see those games at a reasonable time than it is for east coasters, so I’m cool with that decision.

Here are the start times:

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.