Here are the latest notes from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
- The Rangers and Nationals had trade talks involving Stephen Strasburg over the winter, per Rosenthal. Nothing ever came close to getting done in those “wide-ranging” talks, in which Steven Souza (later dealt to the Rays) and Jurickson Profar (later scratched for the season) also came up. It’s not clear from the report what kind of scenarios were considered. Looking forward, it remains to be seen whether there will be any consideration given this winter to a deal involving the 27-year-old righty. Strasburg’s value is down, due both to an inconsistent 2015 season and to the fact that he now has only one season left before hitting free agency, but it’s still hard to imagine the Nats letting him go unless the return was rather significant.
- The Braves could line up a pursuit of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes in free agency, a source tells Rosenthal. While it’s not hard to see the appeal — he’s a power bat at a position of need, and could line up with the team’s timetable for contention — such a move would still rate as a surprise. Atlanta only just got out from under the ill-fated Melvin Upton contract, which showed the risk of such a free agent signing given the team’s recent payroll restrictions, and Cespedes could well cost twice or more what Upton did ($75MM).
- Early returns on the summer trade hauls of the Phillies and Brewers have been positive. There is some nice buzz around Philadelphia’s system, especially with all the depth its added in recent months and the intriguing players that came over for Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman. Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s return for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers has looked rather compelling, with Domingo Santana raking in his early MLB action and the trio of other players finishing strong at Double-A. (Remember: the key player in that deal, Brett Phillips, joined the MLBTR Podcast just after being swapped, as did righty Zach Davies, who is now in the big leagues after being acquired for Gerardo Parra.)
- Mets VP of player development and scouting Paul DePodesta has been plugging away at that post for five years, and the fruits of his labors are now showing at the big league level. Rosenthal reports that the former Dodgers general manager “would consider returning to a GM’s role” with another organization, if the circumstances were right, though many still believe he’ll ultimately take over in New York for Sandy Alderson at some point.