Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has published his latest Inside Baseball column and begins by taking a look at his 25 “heroes” of the 2015 season. Here are some highlights from the rest of the piece…
- Adding a top-tier starting pitcher and a top closer are the main priorities of the Diamondbacks this offseason, Heyman hears. While the D-Backs probably won’t make a run at “the” top starter (presumably David Price), the team does have some money to spend on a starting pitcher. Previous reports have also stated that the Diamondbacks will renew trade talks for Aroldis Chapman this winter, though the asking price on him has, in the past, been said to be exorbitant.
- The Braves have shown a willingness to listen to trade offers on almost anyone, but sources tell Heyman that Freddie Freeman probably isn’t going anywhere. Atlanta is also said to be open to a return for Craig Kimbrel — the initial trade was made for the purpose of shedding Melvin Upton’s contract — though the ‘pen will receive a boost when Shae Simmons, Jason Grilli and Chris Withrow are healthy.
- The Orioles will make qualifying offers to Chris Davis and Wei-Yin Chen but are not yet certain whether to extend one to Matt Wieters, who has had somewhat of a rough season in his return from Tommy John.
- Clay Buchholz has been out since July with an elbow injury and will not return this season, according to Heyman, but the Red Sox will exercise his $13MM option for 2016 if he looks good in a bullpen session Sunday. Whatever happens, the Red Sox will look for additional pitching this winter. (Last night, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reported that Buchholz still hopes he can pitch an inning in the Red Sox’ last game of the season.)
- The White Sox considered offering Jeff Samardzija an extension of around $80MM when they acquired him last season, but Samardzija wanted to test free agency. Heyman reports that Samardzija was disappointed the White Sox didn’t deal him in July, since a deal would have allowed him to pitch for a contender and would have prevented him from being extended a qualifying offer.
- Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler still looks like the favorite for the Angels GM job, and Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine is another possibility. Heyman also mentions that the name of Padres and Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers has also come up.
- Though Eppler may the favorite in Anaheim, he’s also one of two finalists for the Mariners‘ GM post, with the other being Jerry Dipoto. Each candidate is in line for a second interview, which could be more than Dana Brown of the Blue Jays and interim GM Jeff Kingston get. Each has interviewed once, as have others, per Heyman.
- Incoming Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro will retain GM Alex Anthopoulos. Of course, as Heyman notes, that’s hardly surprising given how well the Jays have played recently.
- Nationals ownership, is, perhaps unsurprisingly, very disappointed with the 2015 team. While nothing is certain, however, GM Mike Rizzo seems likely to return for 2016.