Free agent left-hander Mark Buehrle is not planning on playing in 2016 at this time, though the veteran isn’t yet prepared to announce his retirement from baseball, either, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (Twitter link). The soon-to-be 37-year-old’s future has been a debated topic in the past, as some reports indicated that he was planning to retire before Buehrle himself told ESPN Chicago’s Doug Padilla back in October that he’d yet to make a decision on the matter. Another report indicated that if Buehrle were to pitch in 2016, it’d most likely happen if St. Louis showed interest in the Missouri native. Buehrle’s 2015 season wasn’t as strong as his 2014 season, but he nonetheless recorded a solid 3.81 ERA across 198 2/3 innings. That final innings tally left him just four outs shy of recording his remarkable 15th consecutive season of 200+ innings.
A few more notes from around the league…
- Cotillo also tweets that right-hander Fernando Rodney is in “active talks” with multiple clubs, noting that the Padres, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks and Cubs are all in the mix at this time. San Diego, Chicago and Toronto have previously been linked to Rodney, though Arizona would seem to represent a fairly new entrant into his market. Rodney had a dreadful season with the Mariners in 2015 but turned it around following a trade to the Cubs, yielding just one earned run in 12 innings with a 15-to-4 K/BB ratio down the stretch (Rodney did, however, also plunk three batters in his brief Cubs tenure).
- We’ve heard about the Nationals’ interest in Gerardo Parra before, and James Wagner of the Washington Post writes that it’s still alive. GM Mike Rizzo was Arizona’s scouting director when the club signed Parra, and the Nats also tried to acquire him from the Brewers this summer, Wagner reminds. Wagner notes that Parra’s so-so OBP and declining defensive ratings make him a questionable fit in Washington, but the team’s goal remains adding some outfield depth to protect against injuries to Jayson Werth and uncertainty surrounding the talented but raw Michael A. Taylor. Wagner opines that from a purely speculative standpoint, Shane Victorino makes some sense for the Nationals as a player who can cover the outfield corners and play center in a pinch if need be.
- Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes that Rangers fans shouldn’t expect to see Justin Upton, Yoenis Cespedes or Yovani Gallardo in a Rangers uniform next season, as the team doesn’t have the payroll capacity to add any of the three. A trade for Marcell Ozuna is also unlikely, per Wilson, though the Rangers do still hope to add some rotation depth before the offseason is up. GM Jon Daniels tells Wilson that there are still some affordable names on the open market that have piqued the Rangers’ interest. Wilson also notes that Colby Lewis’ physical — the final step before his reported one-year, $6MM contract becomes official — is slated for next Monday.
- The White Sox aren’t in a rush to add a big-ticket outfielder to the mix, writes MLB.com’s Scott Merkin. The Sox “seem content to wait and ensure that any free-agent deal would fit their need and parameters,” he continues, writing that it’s likely that Upton and Cespedes will eventually be offered more years and dollars than the ChiSox care to place on the table.
- Dan Uggla has spoken to three or four teams that are eyeing infield depth, Cotillo tweets. Uggla is set to turn 36 this March and is coming off a season in which he batted just .183/.298/.300 in 141 plate appearances with the Nationals, so any contract to which he agrees figures to be of the minor league variety.
- Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic spoke to executives and scouts from each league to ask which NL West division rival has the better pitching staff heading into the 2016 season: the D-backs or the Giants. While the officials to whom Buchanan spoke seemed to agree that, in a vacuum, the D-backs made more impactful acquisitions this offseason (referring to Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller in comparison to Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija), when factoring in the cost of said acquisitions, there’s an argument to be made for the Giants’ side of the equation. Buchanan also polled officials on which club’s top three starters were more impressive, adding lefties Patrick Corbin and Madison Bumgarner to the mix, which generated mixed responses.