The Reds spent “at least a month” trying to pry Danny Salazar from the Indians for Todd Frazier with no luck, and were also unsuccessful with their next demand of Cody Allen and prospects for Frazier, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports in his chronicle of the negotiations between the two Ohio clubs. Cleveland wanted to keep Salazar and Allen in order to contend in 2016 so the Indians were more open to talking about Jose Ramirez and second-tier prospects (Justus Sheffield, Michael Clevinger, Bobby Bradley) with the Reds. Cincinnati, however, wanted two of those prospects plus one of Clint Frazier or Bradley Zimmer, and the Tribe was unwilling to give up either of its top two minor leaguers. The Indians attempted to construct a three-way deal to land Frazier from Cincinnati but the Reds instead ended up swinging a three-team trade of their own with the White Sox and Dodgers that sent the third baseman to Chicago.
Here’s more from around the AL Central…
- Also from Pluto’s piece, he hears the acquisitions of Rajai Davis and Mike Napoli may be the Indians’ last notable moves of the winter. The club may still make a minor transaction or two but their heavy lifting could be over.
- The White Sox are monitoring the free agent outfield market and giving up a draft pick to sign a qualifying offer free agent “won’t necessarily be a deal-breaker,” ESPN’s Buster Olney writes (subscription required). Chicago’s first-rounder is protected by virtue of being a top-10 pick, so if they were to sign someone like Justin Upton or Dexter Fowler, the Sox would only sacrifice the extra compensation round pick they recently obtained when Jeff Samardzija left to sign with San Francisco. As Olney notes, the White Sox are intent on being contenders while cornerstone pieces like Chris Sale and Jose Abreu are on such reasonable contracts.
- The Twins are looking for a veteran backup outfielder, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger writes. This player would essentially replace Shane Robinson on Minnesota’s roster, serving as an experienced bench piece behind the Twins’ young outfield corps.
- It’s been a relatively quiet offseason for the World Series champions thus far, though Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star feels the Royals front office has earned the benefit of the doubt given its recent success. Expecting the Royals to suddenly splurge above their usual payroll limits was unrealistic, Mellinger notes, as the club needs “efficient spending” to remain competitive in both the short- and long-term. It’s worth noting that the Royals signed Joakim Soria and Chris Young to multi-year contracts and they’ve been at least connected to several major free agents and trade targets (such as Alex Gordon, Yovani Gallardo, Scott Kazmir, Gerardo Parra, Carlos Gonzalez and Frazier), so K.C. could simply be waiting to strike with another notable move.