Orioles might be a “good fit” for Yoenis Cespedes
Somewhere, a member of the Cespedes Family BBQ duo is jumping for joy. According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, the Orioles are interested in obtaining the Cuban outfielder from the Red Sox.

Bradford cautioned that a swap is not “remotely imminent,” but there is some reason to believe that Baltimore could be a better trade partner for Boston than other clubs in the mix.

For one thing, the Orioles are defending division champs and aiming to contend again in 2015, essentially a prerequisite when it comes to acquiring a player set to hit free agency after the coming season. That’s not necessarily the case for the Reds, particularly with the Cubs entering the competitive fold in the National League Central, which might explain why

general managers Walt Jocketty and Ben Cherington haven’t made any headway toward a deal, even though Cincinnati has a few starting pitchers whose team control runs out after the coming year.

The O’s, meanwhile, might also have a spare pitcher to send up the Atlantic seaboard. Chris Tillman, Bud Norris, Miguel Gonzalez, Kevin Gausman and Wei-Yin Chen currently make up Buck Showalter’s rotation, but there’s also Ubaldo Jimenez and the rehabbing Dylan Bundy, plus a few lower-ceiling prospects waiting in the wings with 2015 ETAs. Dan Duquette might have to cobble together a little more Opening Day-ready depth, but he’d have plenty of time to do so if he and Cherington come to terms soon.

Cespedes would replace Nick Markakis in the outfield and Nelson Cruz’ right-handed thump in the lineup. None of this ensures a Family BBQ celebration, but there’s reason to think that it might be in the cards.

Twins interested in Kyle Kendrick
Of course they are. It should go without saying. Kendrick struck out just 121 batters in 199 innings this past season. He fits the stereotypical Twins mold to a tee.

1500ESPN’s Darren Wolfson was just confirming the obvious here.

Since 2010, there have been 10 right-handed-pitcher-seasons with at least 199 frames and no more than 121 Ks. Two of them belong to a then-Twin: Carl Pavano in 2010 and Carl Pavano in 2011. One of them was logged by future Twin: Mike Pelfrey in 2010. Another was logged by a former Twin: Livan Hernandez in 2010. Two others were delivered by Bronson Arroyo, in whom the Twins were “strongly interested” before he went to the Diamondbacks last winter.

That’s six. Kendrick’s 2014 makes seven. Seventy percent of such efforts from the past five years were authored by players who’ve donned a Twins uniform at some point in their careers, would have if the Twins had gotten their druthers, or might very soon.

A search of the MLB Trade Rumors archives reveals that the 30-year-old’s name had—before Tuesday—surfaced twice since 2007, both times to report that Kendrick and the Phillies had avoided arbitration. That’s partly because this is his first tour of free agency, partly because teams don’t generally trade for pitchers like Kendrick, and partly because the Twins haven’t had any reason to.

Now, they do. And unless another suitor surfaces, all roads will lead him to Minnesota.

Rule 5 draft SPOILER ALERT!
If you’d rather not know the identity of the first-overall selection in this morning’s Rule 5 draft, avert your eyes now.

If you stuck around, courtesy of’s Jim Callis, you now know that the Diamondbacks are considering plucking a glove-first catcher from the Astros. Or, maybe Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper has a better read here:

In either case, considering that exporting Miguel Montero left Tuffy Gosewisch as the only backstop on first-year GM Dave Stewart’s roster, Pena or Hernandez are indeed a good bets to be the first name off the board.

Thank you for reading

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When I saw the headline "Dodgers Land Kendrick," I thought they had saved the Twins from themselves. Alas, wrong Kendrick.
too hot!
For the second consecutive year, the Baltimore Orioles lead the rumor mill on every site, every day. They have done nothing. Last year, yeah, they finally signed a player nobody else wanted after being associated with 139 other players in rumors, daily. And yeah, it turned out rather well. I like the part where Bradford cautions that a swap is not "remotely imminent." No kidding. Daniel, save yourself some time over the holidays. Write template: "The Orioles are said to be more than interested in ________ and have talked to ______________ about ______________..." Write every free agent's name on a chit, draw them out of a hat, plug them into the template, submit your next 75 days of columns, and you'll be every bit as accurate about the Baltimore Orioles as BP or any other site was last year or has been this year. If you're gonna blow Duquette's smoke, make it easy. Baltimore needs everything, so they are interested in anything, and will follow up and deliver on nothing.
No Christmas cards being exchanged this year between these two?