Texas may want to party at Napoli's again, relievers are playing musical chairs, and the status of Yordano Ventura's contract is uncertain.
Rangers still interested in Napoli
A reunion for Mike Napoli and the Rangers could still be in the cards, but Texas is only willing to go in if it’s on a one-year deal, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. It’s a familiar situation for Napoli, who was reportedly in back-and-forth negotiations with Cleveland over the same terms earlier this winter, before the team signed Edwin Encarnacion to replace him.
Tim Lincecum refuses to retire, Yu Darvish contemplates a contract extension, and Tyson Ross gets a revised start date.
Lincecum still hunting for opportunity
Tim Lincecum really wants to play baseball, probably more than most people want to do most things. His agent, Rick Thurman, told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that Lincecum is still preparing for the upcoming season, despite not having a) a contract or b) any publicized interest from a major-league team.
Houston wants rotation help, Minnesota wants veterans, and Canada wants to turn back the clock.
Astros in the hunt for starters
If what Bob Nightengale of USA Todaysaid on Twitter is true, the Astros are shooting for the stars with their latest targets in trade talks. The rumor is that Houston is in the market for a high-end starter, so they’re trying to bring in one of either Jose Quintana, Chris Archer, or Sonny Gray.
Alex Rodriguez gets a TV show, the Tigers look for a center fielder, and the Rays add a former closer.
Tigers looking to fill center field hole
The Tigers were rumored to be a potential suitor for Gregor Blanco in the hours before he signed a minor league-deal with the Diamondbacks yesterday afternoon. But even with him now off the market, they’ve apparently still got a free agent outfielder to focus on—Peter Bourjos, who would presumably help fill the team’s void in center field. Though one of the Tigers’ first moves this winter was trading away center fielder Cameron Maybin, they haven’t done anything since to fill the space he left behind.
The Cardinals gear up for their first arbitration hearing in years, Craig Breslow schedules a pitching showcase, and Carl Crawford contemplates retirement (maybe).
Cardinals anticipate first arbitration hearing since 1999
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak is test-driving a new strategy with his arbitration-eligible players. According to his comments made at the annual Cardinals Care Winter Warm-Up event over the weekend, those who did not settle with the team prior to the Friday deadline will go to an arbitration hearing. It’s a relatively common tact that the front office has considered for a few years now, and Mozeliak claimed that the hard-nosed approach was intended to encourage players to work through salary negotiations by Friday’s deadline.
New York may keep Curtis Granderson, Baltimore is unlikely to keep Mark Trumbo, and Matt Wieters is looking for a deal.
Mets may hold onto Granderson
Earlier this week there were rumors that the Mets were trying to find a solution to their outfield situation, which is awfully crowded. One of the players mentioned in that piece who could’ve potentially been traded was Curtis Granderson. However, if Sandy Alderson’s comments to ESPN’s Adam Rubin are any indication, it appears as if the Mets are feeling a bit hesitant to trade Granderson away.
Jay Bruce is still on the block, Brian Dozier may be staying up, and the Braves want more starting pitching.
Mets’ outfield remains a little too full
The Mets still have more corner outfielders than they need, and it’s reportedly holding them back from making other moves. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the club is under a mandate not to go after more relief pitching until they can unload some payroll—presumably in the form of trading away the contract of Jay Bruce or, if not him, Curtis Granderson.
Brandon Phillips nixes a trade to the Braves, Trevor Plouffe rumors abound, and C.J. Wilson prepares for an upcoming showcase.
Phillips vetoes trade to Atlanta
Brandon Phillips exercised his 10-and-5 rights to block a deal that would have sent him to the Braves this past November, according to a report by Ken Rosenthal. It’s the third time Phillips has utilized his 10-and-5 rights in the past two years, including two vetoed trades to the Diamondbacks and Nationals during the 2015 offseason, and it appears he’s not ready to leave Cincinnati just yet.
Tyson Ross has suitors, Oakland likes Mark Trumbo, and the White Sox are asking a lot for Jose Quintana.
Teams are showing interest in Ross
Tyson Ross missed nearly the entire 2016 season due to injury and was released by the Padres last month, but that hasn’t kept teams from pursuing him as a free agent. There are reports that the Nationals, Mariners, Pirates, Twins, and Giants have shown varying degrees of interest in the 30-year-old right-hander, and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweeted out that the Cubs and Rangers are currently the favorites to sign him.
Minnesota asked for "final offers" on Brian Dozier, Washington wants to keep Dusty Baker around, and Arizona is fighting about a ballpark.
All quiet on the Dozier front
The past three weeks have been filled with “will they or won’t they?” trade gossip on Brian Dozier and the Dodgers, but the past few days have been fairly silent on the rumor mill (which is perhaps its own form of a rumor). Last Friday, the Minneapolis Star Tribunereported that the Twins were telling teams to submit their final offers for Dozier over the coming days. Since then, there’s been precious little in terms of rumors and nothing at all in terms of concrete action, which hints that those final offers might not have been what the Twins wanted.
There's a big market for Jose Quintana, a small market for Ryan Braun, and some market for Ben Revere.
Revere apparently in demand
Thursday night saw the biggest name remaining on the free agent market come off the board, as Cleveland pulled off a major coup by bringing in Edwin Encarnacion on a three-year deal worth $65 million. As rumors of a potential Encarnacion deal began to leak, we also began to hear rumors of other players being close to signing. One of those players is Ben Revere, and Roch Kubatko of MASN shared on Twitter that Revere could be signing with a team in the very near future—if not today.