The Giants are among the clubs that are showing interest in right-hander John Lackey, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). San Francisco, though, is exploring a wide swath of starting pitching options, per Rosenthal, so it only makes sense that Lackey would be among the pitchers to pique the team’s interest. The 37-year-old Lackey has been a popular name on the free-agent market thus far, having reportedly been connected to the Marlins, Cardinals, Cubs, D-Backs, Rangers, Red Sox and Dodgers thus far. Over the weekend, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo listed the Giants and Cubs as the two teams with the best shot to sign Lackey.
Here’s more on the market for rotation arms…
- Executives from teams searching for high-end starting pitching tell Joel Sherman of the New York Post that Jose Fernandez isn’t available in trades at this time. Sherman spoke with Fernandez’s agent, Scott Boras, about the reported tension between him and the Marlins’ front office. Boras tells Sherman that he spoke with Miami president of baseball operations Michael Hill the day after the initial negative reports surfaced, with Hill telling him that he looked forward to Fernandez fronting the team’s rotation in 2016.
- In an appearance on TSN 1050 in Canada (audio link), ESPN’s Keith Law discusses David Price with hosts Derek Taylor and Kara Wagland, noting that there’s no reason to believe he would accept anything less than full market value to return to the Blue Jays. Law adds that he’s never felt a reunion between the two sides is likely, pointing out that the MLBPA encourages the top names on the market to take every dollar possible to drive up the price for the second tier of free agents and the following year’s class. The idea of Price returning to Toronto has seemed like a long shot, at best, since he was acquired, given the team’s mid-sized payroll and previous lack of lengthy commitments. Law’s colleague, Buster Olney, wrote recently in his ESPN Insider daily blog post that some evaluators involved in discussions with Price’s camp believe that Price is indicating to all clubs that he’d like to play for them.
- FOX’s Jon Paul Morosi wonders if left-hander Wei-Yin Chen could potentially pull down an annual value of $20MM on his upcoming contract. While that number seems like a stretch, Morosi points out that agents will likely be citing Rick Porcello’s $20.625MM annual value in contract negotiations this winter. A team paying $20MM+ annually for Chen seems like a stretch to me, but Morosi’s general point about Porcello serving as a reference is interesting; we’ll find out this offseason whether that contract looks like an outlier or one that served to drive up the price for second-tier starting pitchers. Porcello’s name has come up in conversations I’ve had with industry contacts this winter, though only time will tell if his contract does indeed serve to advance the secondary pitching market.
- In a piece for Sports On Earth, MLB.com’s A.J. Cassavell tries to peg Zack Greinke’s free-agent value based on historical comparisons. Cassavell looks at age-based comps in an attempt to gauge how long Greinke will remain effective and the length of contract he’ll ultimately command. Cassavell projects that Greinke can be realistically relied upon for three more high-quality seasons before beginning to regress to above-average (but no longer elite) results, ultimately coming to the conclusion of a six-year, $153MM contract prediction.