It’s been a huge day for reliever signings, as Joakim Soria, Ryan Madson, Mark Lowe and (probably) Darren O’Day all reaching agreements on new contracts. If that wasn’t enough, the Dodgers and Reds are also discussing an Aroldis Chapman trade, so the biggest bullpen trade chip of them all could also soon be off the table. Here’s some news on the relievers who have left the market, some who remain, and yet others who could be on the trading block…
- The Nationals continue to have interest in trading for Chapman but are wary about the prospect cost, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson writes. There’s also the difficulty involved in trading current closer Jonathan Papelbon, and Papelbon’s grievance against the Nats is just the latest in several obstacles that will make it hard for Washington to find a taker for the controversial righty.
- The Angels are getting interest in right-hander Trevor Gott, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link). The Halos want a player of similar value in return. Gott made his MLB debut in 2015 and posted a 3.02 ERA, 5.1 K/9 and 1.69 K/BB rate over 47 2/3 innings. Owner of a 96.2mph fastball, Gott posted much higher strikeout totals over his three minor league seasons and is controlled through the 2021 season.
- Righty Matt Albers has received interest from multiple teams, Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports (Twitter link). Albers missed most of 2014 due to shoulder problems and signed a minor league deal with the White Sox last winter, only to miss quite a bit of time after fracturing his pinkie during a bench-clearing brawl with the Royals in April. Still, Albers ended up posting a very impressive 1.21 ERA, 6.8 K/9 and 3.11 K/BB rate over 37 1/3 innings with Chicago last year.
- Yakult Swallows right-hander Tony Barnette didn’t reach a deal with any of the five teams who met his $500K posting fee, according to a story from the Sanspo news outlet (hat tip to NPBTracker’s Patrick Newman for his translating tweets). Barnette is set to return to Yakult, though there’s a chance the Japanese team could allow him to pursue a deal with a Major League team anyway.
- The Mets will meet with lefty Jerry Blevins’ agent during the Winter Meetings, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin reports. Assistant GM John Ricco confirmed the club’s interest in re-signing Blevins and expects it will take a Major League contract to get the veteran southpaw back in the fold. Blevins pitched only five innings for the Mets in 2015 as a result of two forearm fractures — one from a line drive, and another suffered while slipping off a curb.
- In another piece from Rubin, he hears from Ricco that the Mets weren’t in on O’Day or Madson due to their high price tags. “We didn’t see ourselves playing in that top end where O’Day was,” Ricco said. “But I think that next tier, we’re going to be keeping an eye on….We’re going to meet with a lot of the representatives for the relievers here over the next couple of days.”
- Part of the reason the Athletics agreed to a deal with Madson was because they can’t afford to land any of the top free agent hitters and thus have to “spend money where they can,” according to Rosenthal on Twitter. The A’s are also still looking at more starting pitching as well, as evidenced by earlier reports of their interest in Scott Kazmir.
- Before signing Lowe, the Tigers made one more try for Soria but talks went nowhere, MLB.com’s Jason Beck tweets. The Pirates, another of Soria’s former teams, didn’t have any interest in re-signing him since the club prefers to build low-cost bullpens, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. The Blue Jays looked into Soria in the name of “checking options,” a source tells Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, but Toronto wasn’t seriously interested.