Because the Braves dealt Jason Heyward to the Cardinals this offseason, there has been talk that Atlanta also might consider parting ways with fellow outfielder Justin Upton. As the Hot Stove season continues to heat up, multiple reports Sunday said the Rangers have spoken with the Braves regarding Upton.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has the latest on the Rangers (all Twitter links): The Rangers have spoken to the Braves about Justin Upton, echoing a recent report by the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, but the current focus for Texas is pitching. The Rangers are willing to deal any of their shortstops, but Elvis Andrus is the least likely to be moved because the team believes 2015 will be a big season for the 26-year-old. The Rangers are open to trading their better prospects rather than spend big money on free agents. Rosenthal, however, notes Joey Gallo and Jorge Alfaro (the club’s top two prospects, per MLB.com) are considered untouchable.
For the second consecutive year, the National Baseball Hall of Fame player ballot — which will be released on Monday in conjunction with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America — boasts an embarrassment of riches, this time for the prospective Class of 2015.
After four years of teaching, Brian Auld opted to attend Harvard Business School to earn an MBA, which is when Matt Silverman called to offer Auld a job. But Auld, the current Rays president, learned a lot from his time in the classroom.
Right now, plenty of those swap discussions are taking place around Major League Baseball, and we’ve already seen one blockbuster trade this Hot Stove season. Given the escalating costs of free agency and the thin pool, there are more trades to come. Here are the 10 biggest names realistically in the trade mix this winter.
The Dodgers have acquired right-handed pitcher Mike Bolsinger from the Diamondbacks in exchange for cash considerations, tweets Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Bolsinger was designated for assignment by Arizona last Thursday. The Dodgers have confirmed the move via twitter. The Dodgers designated Jarret Martin to clear room for Bolsinger. Bolsinger, 27 next season, made his major league debut last year. He pitched 52 and one-third innings in 10 appearances (nine starts) with a 5.50 ERA, 8.25 K/9, and 2.92 BB/9. The soft-tossing righty works with a 88 mph fastball and was stung by the long ball in his limited sample. While it’s too soon to tell if Bolsinger has a home run problem, a move to pitcher friendly Dodgers Stadium should help to mitigate the damage
The Orioles have signed infielder Rey Navarro to a major league contract, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Navarro, 25 in 2015, is coming off a solid season in the Reds farm system. He hit a combined .282/.343/.435 in 542 plate appearances split between Double-A and Triple-A. The switch hitter – originally signed by the Diamondbacks in 2007 – tied a career high with 12 home runs this season. His defense is his calling card, with Kubatko describing it as “plus” at shortstop. In 2011, Baseball America named him the best defensive second baseman in the Carolina League. It seems likely he will compete for a utility infield role. Under GM Dan Duquette, the Orioles have used major league contracts to entice top minor league free agents, as they did earlier this week with Oliver Drake. Baltimore now has 38 players on their 40-man roster
The ambidextrous Pat Venditte will take his switch-pitching talents to Oakland on a Minor League deal that includes an invitation to big league Spring Training, according to a recent tweet from his agent, Marc Kligman.
Players with the ability to hit at least 20 homers are becoming a more valuable commodity in fantasy baseball given the dearth power in the big leagues, and many of these talents are available for a bargain price.
The Red Sox could have the lead in the bidding for free-agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval, with The Boston Globe reporting on Saturday that the club’s five-year, $95 million offer may give it the edge over the Giants and Padres. The club has not commented on the report.