The Dodgers have “joined the fray” on free agent righty Johnny Cueto, per Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. It’s not immediately clear whether that indicates any stepped-up interest on the part of the Dodgers, who were previously said to have reached out to Cueto’s representatives recently. Indeed, agent Bryce Dixon told MLBTR’s Zach Links yesterday that he saw L.A. as a good fit. As Heyman adds, there are “a couple other” unnamed organizations also “in the mix” for Cueto at present.
Here are a few more notes from the game’s western divisions:
- Scott Miller of Bleacher Report takes a close look at Yasiel Puig’s standing in the Dodgers organization. He speaks extensively with both Adrian Gonzalez and A.J. Ellis (among others), who provide fascinating insight into the strained (but, perhaps, not-yet broken) relationship between Puig and his teammates.
- With the Rangers reportedly adding reliever Tony Barnette, there’s yet more reason to believe the club could strike a deal involving one of its young pen assets, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes. The Diamondbacks have widely been tabbed as one pursuer, and Grant says that Arizona is eyeing late-inning hurlers Shawn Tolleson and Keone Kela. Though the D’Backs are said to be hesitant to part with young righty Archie Bradley, Grant says that exactly who Texas is eyeing in trade talks.
- The Diamondbacks have talked to the Reds on multiple occasions about second baseman Brandon Phillips, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. Arizona’s win-now moves could help persuade Phillips to authorize a deal there, suggests Rosenthal, though MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon tweets that the veteran has not been approached to discuss his no-trade rights.
- As with the Barnette signing, bringing in Christian Bethancourt isn’t necessarily just an isolated move for the Padres, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune explains. The move leaves the club with four catchers on its 40-man roster, and the two most recent additions — Betancourt and Josmil Pinto — are out of options. San Diego was “shopping” both Derek Norris and Austin Hedges over the week, per Lin, who suggests that it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see one of them dealt.