Let’s take a look in at the latest reporting from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, who touched upon several notable stories today (all via his Inside Baseball column, except as otherwise noted):
- The Dodgers have had contact with free agent righty Ryan Madson, Heyman says. The veteran, who enjoyed a remarkable turnaround last year, could be one of several options as Los Angeles looks to beef up its pen.
- The Mariners have long said that re-signing Hisashi Iwakuma is a priority, and GM Jerry Dipoto reaffirmed that stance only days ago. Heyman writes that the club is “willing to go to around $24 million or so over two years” for the accomplished veteran. It’s not entirely clear whether there’s any willingness to go beyond that amount, but it seems a bit light for a pitcher of Iwakuma’s ability. (MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes predicts a three-year, $45MM deal for the righty.)
- Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez would welcome a trade, writes Heyman. It’s been known for awhile that Alvarez is on the block due to his rising arbitration salary, poor glove and struggles with left-handed pitching. The Pirates almost certainly don’t want to pay Alvarez his projected $8.1MM salary next season and could very well non-tender him next week if they can’t find a taker. Heyman notes that the Orioles make some sense, and I’d add the Athletics as a speculative fit also. He’s probably best off with an AL club where he can DH, but it’s also fun to think of the power numbers Alvarez could log at Coors Field.
- The Cardinals are among the most interested teams in Ben Zobrist and have reached out to his representatives at Octagon, reports Heyman. Zobrist was linked to the Cardinals last week, and Heyman notes that there are as many as 20 teams believed to have interest in the versatile switch-hitter. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets that the Cardinals are indeed in the mix, but it remains to be seen whether they can sell Zobrist on a super-utility role (an “uber-role,” as Goold terms it). Zobrist’s preference is reportedly to play second base.
- While the Orioles are prioritizing an effort to bring back Chris Davis, the club has legitimate interest in outfielder Alex Gordon. Meanwhile, Heyman says that he’d be surprised if the club pursues Gerardo Parra as a corner outfield option, since “they weren’t all that impressed by him” over the last several months.
- The Royals may be “willing to at least talk” with the reps of backstop Salvador Perez about “reworking” his early-career extension. That contract has become almost comically team-friendly since it was signed — a reflection of both the significant risk taken on by the team at the time and the extent to which Perez has rewarded that trust. It’s not entirely clear what kind of scenario could be pursued, but all indications are that Kansas City would be bargaining from a position of strength.
- There’s at least “a bit” of contact between the Angels and free agent third baseman David Freese, says Heyman. A reunion continues to appear possible, though the club will likely look to see how some other market possibilities play out before committing to the veteran.