Earlier today we heard that the Giants have shown interest in Jon Lester, and that interest may now increase with Pablo Sandoval reportedly set to join the Red Sox. San Francisco would make another entrant in a Lester race that has begun to take clearer shape over the past week or so. And, of course, the connection to the Phillies‘ trade market for Cole Hamels cannot be ignored, with several reports suggesting that the two southpaws’ fates are intertwined. Here are today’s Lester and Hamels rumors… Two NL GMs told Peter Gammons over the weekend that Lester is nearing a deal with the Red Sox. However, Gammons writes that the info doesn’t appear to be accurate at this time, as Lester is set to meet with the Cardinals sometime next week. According to Gammons, Lester might wish to have a deal in place in advance of the Winter Meetings, which begin Dec. 7 in San Diego. WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford echoes that there’s nothing close between the Red Sox and Lester at this time (Twitter link).
Inspired by Kansas City’s magical October bond, Royals employee Matt Schulte came out to the world.
What an era this is for the Red Sox. Has any team undergone so many seismic shifts in such a short time that it’s on the verge of signing Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez for a cool $200 million or so?
For the second consecutive week, Rangers prospect Kellin Deglan drove in more runs than any other Australian Baseball League player, racking up eight RBIs in four games for the Melbourne Aces. The 22-year-old catcher finished the series 7-for-17 with two home runs.
With today’s release of the 2015 Hall of Fame ballot, we’ll again debate and discuss dozens of players. Know this: When a player is in this conversation, he’s one of the special ones, someone who helped define his generation.
For a second consecutive year, the National Baseball Hall of Fame player ballot, revealed today in conjunction with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, boasts an embarrassment of riches, this time for the prospective Class of 2015.
We’ll keep track of any Yasmany Tomas-related rumors here, with the newest items at the top. The Braves‘ pursuit of Tomas is unrelated to the progress of any trades involving Justin Upton or Evan Gattis, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets. The Braves feel comfortable that they can get good value for Upton or Gattis whether or not they sign Tomas. The Braves, Padres and Giants have extended offers to Tomas, with the Mariners, Phillies and Diamondbacks still lingering as possibilities, Peter Gammons tweets. That all makes sense — a report late last week indicated that the Braves and Padres were the favorites to sign Tomas, and another indicated that the Giants would turn their attention to Tomas if Pablo Sandoval were to leave for another team.
MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian and Paul Hoynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group cleared out their inbox this weekend answering readers’ questions about possible moves for the Indians this offseason. Here are the highlights: Bastian downplays a Nick Swisher-Ubaldo Jimenez swap of bad contracts. Cleveland could afford the move (Jimenez is due $38.75MM through 2017 while Swisher is owed $30MM through 2016 with a 2017 vesting option worth $14MM), but Bastian feels the odds of Swisher rebounding in 2015 is a better bet than three years of Jimenez. If the Indians are looking to shed a bad contract, Hoynes thinks Michael Bourn would be easier to trade, but adds that doesn’t mean Cleveland wants to deal him. Bastian and Hoynes both agree the Indians have interest in Justin Masterson on a one-year pillow contract, but feel the right-hander will find a multi-year pact elsewhere. Trading for Cole Hamels is an interesting thought, according to Bastian, because the left-hander is cheaper ($90MM through 2018) than the top free agent rotation arms on the market and the Indians have the type of prospects the Phillies covet. Ultimately, though, Bastian sees Hamels’ annual salary and the potential prospects lost will be too steep of a price for the franchise to pay. While noting manager Terry Francona’s penchant for strong bullpens, Hoynes doesn’t see the Indians investing in any of the high profile free agent relievers, especially with Zach McAllister waiting in the wings. Does Francona’s new contract extension contain the same opt-out clause allowing him to leave if President Mark Shapiro or GM Chris Antonetti are fired?
SUNDAY, 12:29pm: Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News hears from an informed baseball source that the Twins have in fact won the bidding. The value of the Twins’ bid has not been announced and sources have thrown out estimates ranging from $700K to ~$1.5MM. Both the Kia Tigers and Yang are disappointed with the size of the bid, but the pitcher is pushing the Tigers to accept it so that he can pursue his dream of pitching in the majors. The team has previously said that it would accept a bid for Yang as long as it was of “a reasonable amount,” but never specified the monetary figure. The KBO has said that it will inform MLB of the Tigers’ decision by 4pm CT on Friday, November 28th. 10:51am: The Twins are insisting that they haven’t been told they’ve won the bidding for Yang, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). SATURDAY, 10:18am: The Twins have won the bidding for Korean lefty Hyeon-jong Yang and are nearing agreement on a deal, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press writes. The Kia Tigers posted Yang earlier this week. The Twins have a 30-day negotiating window with Yang. Yang, who will be 27 in March, posted a 4.25 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 165 innings in Korea in 2014
The Astros are known to be seeking relief help and they might be aiming high. Houston has reached out to Scott Leventhal, the agent for David Robertson, to express interest in the Yankees closer, an industry source told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. Still, it’s not known whether the Astros are willing to approach the four-year, ~$52MM deal that Robertson is after. More from the AL and NL West.. Giants vice president Bobby Evans told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (on Twitter) that they have not made a “final offer” to Pablo Sandoval. While Evans would not confirm that their offer on the table is a five-year, $95MM deal as its been reported, he implied that it’s accurate (link). The Padres are still receiving inquiries on pitcher Ian Kennedy, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com. Kennedy is in his final year of arbitration eligibility and Matt Swartz projects that he’ll earn $10.3MM in 2015. If the Rockies don’t upgrade their rotation, they’re in store for another 90-loss season, writes Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post.