This year’s offseason has moved much more slowly than last year’s did, possibly suggesting that teams are becoming more cautious in free agency, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman suggests. There are other possible explanations, he notes, including that the strong free agent market has teams concerned about jumping to sign one free agent only to find a similar player willing to sign for less at a later date. Another possibility is that many teams’ new presidents of baseball operations are pulling back on the reins a bit. But there’s also the fact that many deals that were consummated by this point last year — including big contracts for Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Victor Martinez, Michael Cuddyer and Adam LaRoche — now look like potential busts. Here are more quick notes from around the game.
- After their signing of J.A. Happ (as well as their re-signing of Marco Estrada and trade for Jesse Chavez), the Blue Jays will continue pursuing starting pitching, interim GM Tony LaCava says, according to Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith (Twitter links). LaCava declined to comment on free agent starter David Price.
- Former Blue Jay Liam Hendriks, who headed to the Athletics for Chavez, says he anticipates a bigger role in Oakland, Jeff Simmons of Sportsnet notes. “I think it’ll be a good stepping stone to become a set-up, closer type and as a reliever that’s where you want to be,” Hendriks said last week on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. “With (Roberto) Osuna, (Aaron) Sanchez and (Brett) Cecil it would’ve been tough to get there with Toronto because they got three guys that can do both of those roles.” Hendriks, incidentally, says better health was one reason he improved in Toronto, blossoming from the struggling starter he was in Minnesota to a top-notch reliever. (He also credits Jays catchers Russell Martin and Dioner Navarro.) “I was never unhealthy per se. But I ate a bit cleaner and stopped drinking,” he says. “I never drank too much to begin with but I stopped completely… I did a lot my lower-body and shoulders work in the gym. Everything played a part.”