In response to a reader question about Matt Holliday as a possible trade candidate, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch doubts the Cardinals would move a such strong bat since the team’s main winter goal is to add offense. Langosch isn’t sure if the Cards have any interest in dealing Holliday or if he would accept a trade via his 10-and-5 veto rights. Even at age 35 and battling injuries last season, Holliday still posted a very respectable .279/.394/.410 line over 277 plate appearances. 2016 is his last guaranteed year under contract (St. Louis has a $17MM club option on him for 2017) so it’s also not like Holliday is a long-term roadblock for the club’s upcoming young outfielders. Here’s some more from around baseball as we look forward to leftover turkey tomorrow…
- The Astros aren’t likely to be big players for Chris Davis, a source familiar with the situation tells Evan Drelllich of the Houston Chronicle. Davis will command a big price and Houston already has a lot of high-power, high-strikeout hitters. I myself speculated that Davis and the Astros could be a fit in my Astros Offseason Outlook piece, under the logic that the team needs a big left-handed bat, Davis is a Texas native and first base would be open if Chris Carter and Evan Gattis were non-tendered. Drellich’s piece looks at that first base situation for the Astros, and the presence of prospects Tyler White and A.J. Reed might also make a Davis signing unlikely.
- Six general managers who recently spoke with Peter Gammons believe the Red Sox will sign David Price this offseason. “Boston will go $30-40M above anyone else” to land Price, one NL GM opines. This is just the latest chatter connecting Price to the Sox, and while Gammons writes that “some feel he is uneasy about Boston, but David is so sophisticated, so talented and so intelligent he will make the best of any situation.” Another GM, however, speculates that the Cardinals could be the ones to make the big play for Price, passing on re-signing Jason Heyward in the process.
- Gammons shares some more chatter from his sources, including “a lot of John Lackey and Alex Gordon to the Cubs speculation.”
- Recently designated players like John Axford, Daniel Nava, A.J. Griffin, Danny Hultzen and Wilin Rosario could all be intriguing targets for the Padres, Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune opines. The first three are free agents, Hultzen was outrighted off the Mariners’ 40-man roster and Rosario is still in DFA limbo.
- Fangraphs’ Eno Sarris tries to identify some of the smaller-name or underrated relief arms on the open market that could blossom into bargain pickups. The Cubs are one example of a club that has built an entire bullpen (and a strong one, at that) out of such under-the-radar pitchers, as Sarris notes.
- One of the underlying stories of 2016 will be the negotiations between MLB and the players union over the next Collective Bargaining Agreement, ESPN’s Jayson Stark writes. Stark’s piece highlights some of the major issues that are likely to play a big role in the upcoming talks, ranging from revenue sharing, free agency and the qualifying offer, the length of the season, a possible international amateur draft and more. Another interesting topic could be how the league may address teams “tanking” several seasons in an attempt to rebuild, and possible solutions include a draft lottery or a rule prohibiting teams from drafting in the top five in consecutive seasons.
- The good news about the CBA talks is that multiple sources on both sides tell Stark that everyone wants to keep the labor peace that baseball has enjoyed for over two decades. “It’s a 9-and-a-half-billion dollar industry. Nobody is going to want to blow it up,” one source tells Stark.