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.