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JD reunion with D-backs seems unlikely

MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

PHOENIX -- Until J.D. Martinez signs somewhere else, D-backs general manager Mike Hazen knows he's going to get asked about his team's interest in bringing back the free-agent outfielder.

"We're still fully engaged in the entire market," Hazen said when asked where things stood with Martinez. "We're looking at all alternatives and exploring any way to continue to make the team better. Nothing specific on any situation."

PHOENIX -- Until J.D. Martinez signs somewhere else, D-backs general manager Mike Hazen knows he's going to get asked about his team's interest in bringing back the free-agent outfielder.

"We're still fully engaged in the entire market," Hazen said when asked where things stood with Martinez. "We're looking at all alternatives and exploring any way to continue to make the team better. Nothing specific on any situation."

Martinez, who slugged .741 in 257 plate appearances for the D-backs last year, remains unsigned while Arizona continues to shop for outfield help.

The D-backs certainly would like to have Martinez back, and judging by all accounts, Martinez would welcome a return to the desert.

Video: Outlook: Martinez's power makes him dangerous slugger

A baseball source confirmed reports from MLB Network insiders Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal, that D-backs owner Ken Kendrick has met with Martinez's agent, Scott Boras, multiple times this offseason, including once last week.

While no details of the meeting have been made public, it seems the one thing standing in the way of a reunion is money.

The D-backs' payroll right now is sitting at about $125 million, which would easily eclipse the franchise record for Opening Day, which was set in 2014 at $112 million.

Reports have the Red Sox offering Martinez five years at over $100 million, and it would seem Arizona would be hard pressed to come up with something similar.

Still, until Martinez signs on the dotted line somewhere, speculation will continue -- no matter how unlikely -- that the D-backs could bring him back on a one-year deal or somehow come up with a creative package to make it all work.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks