Rangers and Rays discussing Profar
The Rays have “checked in with” the Rangers on the possibility of a trade for Jurickson Profar, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The conversation is only exploratory so far, but the need is clear: the Rays have a hole at second base after sending Logan Forsythe to the Dodgers last week. Though Brad Miller is an obvious in-house solution there—another position switch for him, after he moved from short to first midseason last year to accommodate the the Matt Duffy trade—the team’s apparently not closing the door on other choices just yet.
At any rate, adding Profar and his positional versatility to a roster that already includes Miller would give the Rays an infield with plenty of flexibility. The Rangers’ most likely return for Profar would be a pitching prospect, Grant reports. An attempt to swap Profar for Jake Odorizzi last year was turned down by the Rays, he notes, and so a trade now would likely need to work with minor-league pitching as a starting point.
Masterson, Arroyo to mount comebacks
Two veteran pitchers who previously had no good reason to be on anyone’s radar this winter are now trying to strike deals: Justin Masterson and Bronson Arroyo. Masterson’s 2016 held only a sad handful of minor-league innings in the Pirates’ organization, struggling to come back from shoulder surgery, while his 2015 was an unsuccessful and injury-riddled half season with the Red Sox. But despite the (many) signs that his days of successful pitching are probably behind him, the 31-year-old is beginning a throwing program and planning for a showcase in late February, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Arroyo, meanwhile, is reportedly in the process of negotiating a deal that would reunite him with the Reds, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The 40-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2014, but he has more career innings than the top four members of the current rotation combined, which is almost a mildly fun fact. (Had the Reds not signed Scott Feldman and his 1,275 career innings to fill that fifth spot last week, it might have been slightly more fun, or something like it.)
Twins mounting a search for bullpen depth
The Twins are looking at several candidates in their search for bullpen help, according to La Velle Neal of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Acquiring an extra relief arm or two is the club’s top priority at this point, he reports, and both Joe Blanton and Boone Logan are up for consideration. They’ve also been in contact with Jerry Blevins, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, and they were included in the list of teams “strong” on Craig Breslow, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports last week.
The range of the list shows maybe nothing except that the Twins are truly looking to position themselves as equal opportunity employers for relievers, so long as you’re limiting the conversation to veterans still on the market in February who won’t be too pricey.
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