While details are non-existent, Twins general manager Rob Antony dropped an intriguing note to reporters including Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press (Twitter link). Minnesota nearly swung a three-team trade before the deadline, the newly-minted interim GM said. That’s certainly fun to ponder, though it’s awfully difficult to assess what kind of scenario might have materialized with so many moving parts. (Don’t let that stop you from trying in the comments!)
Here’s more from the American League:
- Before he was traded by the Athletics to the Dodgers, southpaw Rich Hill was seeking around $28MM over two years in the extension talks between the sides, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. That’s certainly an interesting number to ponder: it’s shockingly high for a player of Hill’s background, but is rather cheap compared with the cost of top-end starting pitching on the open market, particularly given the dearth of arms coming this winter. Despite the risk, Hill has pitched at an extremely high level when healthy, and the guess here is that plenty of teams would be happy to take that chance for less than the expected annual rate of a qualifying offer (which is expected to be $16.7MM). Last fall, Marco Estrada commanded $26MM over two years in a deal struck while he pondered a QO, providing something of a comparable, though Hill is older and probably should come with wider band of reasonable performance expectations. Regardless whether that was a reasonable request for a raise over Hill’s current $6MM salary — which he landed despite only a four-start audition late last year — it provides some insight into the thinking of an interesting pending free agent. (Notably, the trade also means that Hill won’t be eligible to receive a qualifying offer.)
- The Indians considered a move for Padres catcher Derek Norris after their agreement to add Jonathan Lucroy was vetoed by the veteran backstop, according to Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer. Talks didn’t go very far, though, as Cleveland wasn’t enticed by a reportedly high asking price. The Indians also looked at Steve Pearce, but the team’s scouts weren’t enthused by his defensive profile at third.
- The Rangers’ efforts to strike a deal for a new ballpark are still moving along, as Robert Cadwallader of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The Arlington City Council voted unanimously to push ahead with a November ballot item seeking approval for the funding package, which has received plenty of criticism given its taxpayer-backed terms and the fact that the Rangers seemingly play in a rather acclaimed, quite youthful ballpark at present. Another vote is needed to send the matter to the voters.