Free agent reliever Joakim Soria has long been rumored to be drawing interest from several of his former employers, and at least two of them are still in the hunt, per a tweet from Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. The current “front-runners” to land the righty, it seems, include the Royals and Rangers — but not the Tigers, who just dealt for Francisco Rodriguez. Interestingly, the other top pursuer is largely a newcomer to the chatter on Soria: the Giants rate as one of the three most likely landing spots, according to the report.
Here are a few more free agent notes:
- Five or six clubs have expressed interest in signing Chase Utley as a “mostly everyday infielder,” agent Joel Wolfe tells Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News (Twitter link). The Dodgers are one of those teams, per the report (and as suggested previously). Utley would probably be best served as a platoon option at this point, though he’d presumably see plenty of action if he gets most of the time against right-handed pitching.
- The representatives of shortstop Ian Desmond are highlighting his defensive versatility to prospective clubs, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com tweets. That’s a bit surprising to hear, given that much of Desmond’s value is tied to his ability to play short, where he rates as a solid defender despite being prone to committing errors. DiComo notes that Desmond has played outfield previously, which is true — but only barely. Desmond has appeared in the outfield in exactly four games as a professional: twice with the Nats, once in Triple-A, and once in the Dominican Winter League. Indeed, he’s only ever played eight other games at any position other than short, with all of those coming in the way of minor league appearances at second. None of that is to say that Desmond can’t play elsewhere on the diamond. After all, he is an excellent athlete. And perhaps the idea of eventually moving to the grass would make the back end of his deal somewhat more palatable.
- Veteran outfielder Andruw Jones is looking for a chance with a big league club and will retire if he doesn’t find one, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports on Twitter. The 17-year MLB veteran, now 38 years old, last appeared in the majors in 2012. But he was rather productive for the NPB’s Rakuten club between 2013 and 2014, slashing .232/.392/.441 in 1185 total plate appearances. It is worth noting, though, that Jones did not end up playing last year after reportedly seeking another shot at the bigs.
Why would the Royals need/want Soria? They have one of the best bullpens in the league already (even after losing Madson and Holland), even though they could use a good lefty. Furthermore he would be very expensive for a team with that kind of payroll, certainly with the holes they have to fill. They could better allocate that money into a solid RF, LF, one or two mid-tier starting pitcher(s) and possibly a second baseman.
How about Andruw Jones going back to the Braves? They are not going to do anything this season anyway and it might get some fans in the seats. Any Braves fans up for this?
You can never have enough arms. That said, I’m not sure what holes they need to fill, so those should come first.
He would be one of there better players now lol at the once feared Braves now the time to change the mascot before 2017
Hey, the Braves are gonna suck anyways, why not sign Andruw? If it only it lasts a week or 2, who cares?
Anyone else shocked by the Fernandez rumors? It looks like he’s a goner after what came out today. I don’t know how he could pitch for a team that “sometimes would almost hope he gets bombed so his attitude changes”
If the Pirates deal Walker I wouldn’t mind seeing Utley in Pittsburgh. Depending on the asking of course but he could get a few days off here and there with Harrison playing super utility.
Desmond’s agents must be thinking that they can position him as a younger Zobrist and enhance his value (and paycheck)
I’ll bet Dan Duquette is on the phone with Jones’ agent as we speak.
Andrew Jones would be interesting to look at as a RH platoon option at 1b for the Marlins, at leat in ST. Wouldn’t mind him being around Ozuna, if they don’t give him away
Even though I’m a Yankees fan, Utley has been one of my favorite players since his AAA days in Scranton/WB (I live in NEPA).
I don’t think his price/years would be unrealistic and his swing plays well in Yankee Stadium. Couple those with his limited defensive flexibility, I think he’d be a great fit for NY. The media and Mets fans would LOVE that, I’m sure.
Yeah they love Chase Utel for injuring one of their players for a year
Utley should of been batting leadoff playing 2nd over Kendrick after breaking up that double play, if he gets hit by a pitch so be it & especially in the last game vs Degrom. Can easily see Utley having a decent year in 2016 plus gotta imagine he gets respect and teaches things to all teammates especially the young ones