Here’s some news from around baseball as we wrap up the first weekend of 2016…
- “So many teams have spent their money on pitching that they don’t have much left for hitting,” an executive tells John Perrotto of TodaysKnuckleball.com in explaining why so many of the biggest free agent bats are still available. This could mean that some of the notable names may end up for signing than less than expected due to lack of a hot market. Then again, the inverse could also be true — an unexpected trade or injury could suddenly create a suitor willing to pay top dollar to fill a lineup need. Perrotto’s piece also includes his guesses about where 10 of the top remaining free agents will land.
- The Angels, Giants, Cardinals, Orioles and White Sox seem to be the teams most poised to make a big move or two in January, MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince writes.
- Dalton Pompey is an important depth piece for the Blue Jays in 2016 and a big part of their future outfield plans, MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm writes as part of a reader mailbag. Given Ben Revere’s rising arbitration price tag and the fact that Jose Bautista is a free agent next winter, Pompey may be called upon as a regular in 2017, so Chisholm doubts the Jays would make Pompey a trade chip unless they’re able to obtain a big return. While Pompey hasn’t shown much in limited MLB action, he’s also just 23 and a year removed from being a consensus top-50 (or better) prospect.
- Also from Chisholm’s piece, he lists the 11 member of the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster who are out of options, with outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, catcher A.J. Jimenez, and righty relievers Steve Delabar and Chad Jenkins standing out as “ones to watch” on the roster bubble. The Jays would ideally like to use Jimenez in Triple-A while Carrera, Delabar and Jenkins will be in the mix for jobs on the Opening Day roster.
- In another reader mailbag, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch addresses the idea of whether or not the Yankees could retain the likes of Alex Rodriguez, C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira or Carlos Beltran on one-year contracts after their expensive multi-year deals expire within the next two seasons. Hoch feels it’s probably a longshot for any of them to remain in New York since the team wants a younger team and more roster flexibility — Greg Bird and Aaron Judge are poised to replace Teixeira and Beltran, for instance. Sabathia may be the best candidate to be retained given how expensive pitching is, though that also may be unlikely given Sabathia’s ongoing knee issues.