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MLB investigating a Diamondbacks coach for wearing a smart watch

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The New York Post reports that Major League Baseball is investigating why Diamondbacks coach Ariel Prieto was wearing what appears to be a smart watch during last night’s Wild Card game against the Rockies.

As you likely recall, the Red Sox were recently given a fine after it was discovered that they had stolen signs via the use of a smart watch, which violated baseball’s rules regarding the use of electronic devices for such a purpose. At the time of the fine, the league said that future sanctions would be more severe in light of the warning provided by the Red Sox incident.

It is unclear, of course, whether Prieto was using his watch for anything or if, rather, he was just wearing it out of habit. Electronic devices that are internet-capable are prohibited as a matter of course, however, and any laptops or tablets used in a dugout must have connectivity disabled. Again, it’s unclear what the status of Prieto’s watch was and no one is commenting on anything.

Worth watching, even if it seems likely that little if anything comes out of this.

UPDATE: The Arizona Diamondbacks have released as statement:

“Ariel Prieto has assured us that this was a simple oversight and honest mistake. The watch he wore last night was absolutely not used in any way related to our game and we will make¬†certain prior to the NLDS that it will not be an issue again. Ariel takes full responsibility and feels terrible that this has been a distraction of any kind.”

I presume that will be the end of that.

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.