Even though the Padres non-tendered right-hander Tyson Ross last week, there’s “mutual interest” in a reunion, general manager A.J. Preller revealed Monday (via AJ Cassavell of MLB.com). Preller added that “a market didn’t develop” for a Ross trade, leading to the non-tender decision, but he did inform the 29-year-old upon cutting him that the team wanted him back – just not for an estimated $9.6MM. Ross has been a front-line starter in the past, but he suffered a shoulder injury on opening day last season and didn’t pitch again in 2016. He underwent thoracic outlet surgery in October and should return to full strength by April. More from the National League: Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton has drawn trade interest – including from the Rangers – but Cincy has a high asking price because it doesn’t believe the 26-year-old has reached his ceiling, a source told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. Additionally, the Reds realize replacing the baserunning dynamo and defensive ace would be a daunting task. “Billy is an integral part of the defense and pitching,” commented GM Dick Williams.
The Royals have told teams they’re willing to listen to offers on Lorenzo Cain, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney, and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets that closer Wade Davis is also available and generating plenty of buzz. Cain, 30, was limited to 103 games by a balky hamstring and also saw his offense take a step back. Set to earn $11.5MM next year before hitting the open market in advance of his age-32 season, Cain batted .287/.339/.408 with nine homers and 14 steals in 434 plate appearances last year. Defensive metrics like Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved still lauded him for his defensive prowess, however, so the hamstring troubles didn’t adversely impact his ability to play an elite center field. Derrick Goold of the St
The Braves are reportedly still in the mix for Chris Sale, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Atlanta also made a run at Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray but found Oakland’s asking price to be prohibitive (Twitter link). Oakland did not ask for Dansby Swanson to be included in the deal, but Atlanta still felt the A’s were asking for too much in return. A few more notes on the market for starting pitchers… The Royals are gauging interest in left-hander Danny Duffy, reports MLB Network’s Jon Morosi (via Twitter). Duffy had a breakout campaign this past season, tossing 179 2/3 innings with a 3.51 ERA, 9.4 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and a 36.4 percent ground-ball rate. As Morosi points out, he could make sense for a team looking to augment its rotation but unwilling to part with the talent required to land someone like Chris Sale or Chris Archer. Duffy, however, is a free agent next winter, so he’d be a short-term upgrade rather than a long-term solution like those other names. The Astros are more likely to trade for rotation help than they are to pursue the remaining free agents on the market, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney. Houston isn’t in on right-hander Ivan Nova and likely considers him to be too expensive, per Olney. The Astros are reportedly open to moving either Collin McHugh or Mike Fiers as they seek to create some roster/payroll flexibility, as Olney’s colleague, Jayson Stark, reported earlier today
Committing an unprecedented sum of money in an attempt to offset unprecedented lapses in performance, the Giants obtained the closer they sought by agreeing to a four-year contract Monday with free-agent right-hander Mark Melancon. In announcing the deal, Giants general manager Bobby Evans did not divulge financial details of Melancon’s contract, which will become official pending the obligatory physical examination.
It’s possible the Astros will add an ace-caliber pitcher via trade this offseason, but it’s not going to come at the expense of 22-year-old infielder Alex Bregman. Astros executives are telling teams that there’s “no chance” Bregman will go anywhere, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney (Insider required and recommended). That’s hardly a surprise, as Bregman is controllable through the 2022 season and has been resoundingly successful since the Astros took him second overall in the 2015 draft. After racing through the minors, Bregman thrived in his first taste of big league action this past season and now looks like the Astros’ long-term solution at third base. More rumors from around the majors: The Padres are “aggressively shopping” infielder Yangervis Solarte, and the NL West rival Dodgers are among the teams discussing him with San Diego, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link)
With several established cogs set to hit free agency after next season, the Royals aren’t in position to stand pat this winter, writes FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. It doesn’t appear the team will do that, as it’s willing to listen to potential trade offers for several of its soon-to-be free agents and a couple players who are under control beyond next season, sources told Rosenthal. First baseman Eric Hosmer is among the prominent Royals who could hit the open market next offseason, though it seems the club will retain the Scott Boras client in hopes of locking him up long term, per Rosenthal. But the expectation is that Kansas City would entertain dealing left-hander Danny Duffy, closer Wade Davis, outfielder Lorenzo Cain, third baseman Mike Moustakas and shortstop Alcides Escobar.
The Red Sox have reached out to agent Scott Boras regarding free agent Matt Holliday, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The soon-to-be 37-year-old has played the outfield almost exclusively in his career as a member of the Rockies, Athletics and Cardinals, but it’s likely he’d serve as a designated hitter for the David Ortiz-less Red Sox. Holliday would be a reasonably priced option for a Boston team that’s reluctant to spend past the $195MM luxury-tax threshold, though his numbers fell off last year in St. Louis. The career .303/.382/.515 hitter dealt with injuries and batted a so-so .246/.322/.461 in 426 plate appearances. He did swat at least 20 home runs for the 10th time, however. More from Cafardo: Third baseman Justin Turner, arguably the best player left on the market, is likely to re-sign with the Dodgers, according to Cafardo. Aside from the Cardinals showing some degree of interest in Turner, there hasn’t been much chatter regarding the 32-year-old to this point. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes predicts Turner will return to the Dodgers on a five-year, $85MM deal after a season in which he slashed .275/.339/.493, totaled 5.6 fWAR, and set career highs in plate appearances (622) and home runs (27). The Astros are willing to listen to offers for catcher/designated Evan Gattis and right-hander Collin McHugh, per Cafardo.
Free-agent closer Mark Melancon has multiple offers of four years and $60-plus million on the table, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. The Giants, Nationals and possibly one other team have reportedly made those offers to the right-hander, who turns 32 in March.
Angels slugger Albert Pujols underwent foot surgery Friday to release his right plantar fascia.
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