Now that the Cardinals have signed right-hander Mike Leake to a five-year deal, they’re out of the mix on lefty Scott Kazmir, tweets CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. The Nationals, Orioles and Royals are among the clubs still looking at Kazmir, according to Heyman. A report from Monday indicated that the Athletics and Astros were also among the finalists for Kazmir, who reportedly has received three-year offers that come with annual rates in the $12-13MM range. However, Kazmir’s hope is said to be a four-year contract. Earlier tonight, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun wrote that he didn’t foresee the O’s going four years on Kazmir (or any other free-agent starter, for that matter).
A few more notes on what is still a very deep class of free agents…
- Daniel Murphy hasn’t been aggressive in seeking new opportunities for much of the offseason, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post, as he maintained hope that he would return to the Mets right up until their acquisition of Neil Walker from the Pirates. The Mets, according to Puma, were clear in telling Murphy that they intended to go in another direction this offseason, but Murphy sought more than the one- to two-year offers with which the Mets were comfortable and seems to have been hoping that an increased offer from the Mets would materialize.
- Agent Scott Boras has been seeking a three-year deal for client Denard Span, industry sources tell Puma in a second column. The Mets had genuine interest in Span, according to Puma, but they weren’t keen on committing to a center field partner for Juan Lagares beyond the 2016 season. Beyond that, the Mets didn’t want to wait for Span’s January showcase before moving to add a left-handed bat, as doing so would’ve meant risking their alternative options signing elsewhere in the interim.
- Royals GM Dayton Moore wouldn’t comment to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan when asked about negotiations with Alex Gordon — specifically, Jim Bowden’s previous report at ESPN that the Royals are offering $12-13MM per year on a four-year deal — or extension talks with catcher Salvador Perez. Moore did, however, openly voice his desire to add a corner outfielder and another starting pitcher. “We feel we have quality depth in the outfield, but we have a desire for an experienced corner outfielder. And we would like another quality starting pitcher,” said Moore. Per Flanagan, the Royals hope to have seven or eight players that are viable rotation options on the roster to open the season. At present, Kansas City has Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez, Danny Duffy, Chris Young and Kris Medlen as options, plus lefty Jason Vargas recovering from Tommy John surgery.