The Red Sox are among the team’s expressing early interest in free agent outfielder Chris Young, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports on Twitter. It remains to be seen what kind of fit he’d have in Boston, which features two right-handed bats in Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo in the outfield. Presumably, Young would be pursued as a possible complimentary piece to the left-handed-hitting Jackie Bradley Jr. Of course, it’s still early, and Nightengale also mentions that several other clubs have already been in contact with Young, who had a nice 2015 season for the Yankees (.252/.320/.453 with 14 home runs in 356 plate appearances).
- That’s not the only player by that name, of course, and the other Chris Young has also crafted an interesting free agent case for himself with a strong platform campaign. The Royals do have interest in bringing Young back, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star tweets, but only if his asking price drops. After drawing only marginal interest on the market the last two winters, Young is seeking “pay commensurate to his performance,” per McCullough. (The 36-year-old has contributed 288 1/3 innings of 3.40 ERA pitching over the past two seasons, which was obviously quite valuable.)
- The Royals are giving indications that they see a reunion with Ben Zobrist as more likely than the re-signing of Alex Gordon or Johnny Cueto, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter links). Zobrist not only makes for a nice fit, given his ability to play second or the corner outfield, but will presumably end up with a contract of a shorter duration than the other two players.
- Another player coming off of a big season is Rays infielder Logan Forsythe, who broke out with a .281/.359/.444 slash line. Tampa Bay and the 28-year-old have mutual interest in discussing an extension of some kind, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Forsythe has two years of control remaining, and MLBTR projects him to earn $3.3MM for the coming season. Given that the five-year veteran has never come close to his 2015 production in prior seasons, and bearing in mind the organization’s scant payroll, the likeliest scenario may be a deal that guarantees only two or three seasons while leaving the team with an option or two at the back end.
- The Yankees are among the team’s that would have interest in Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar if he’s made available, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. But teams looking for a buy-low opportunity are likely barking up the wrong tree, per the report. “We are not looking to trade him,” said Rangers GM Jon Daniels. “We held onto him this long. We are pretty optimistic his shoulder is fit. The mindset is to wait and see where he is. We believe he will get back to his value, which was one of the best young players out there.”
- Turning back to the Red Sox, the club not only has some acquisition work to do this winter, but will surely at least consider the idea of extensions, with Betts and Xander Bogaerts seemingly representing the two most likely targets. Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com discusses that possibility, noting that new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has reached significant extensions in the past. While he declined to discuss those two players’ situations, he did talk about his general approach. “I don’t really have any specific rule on it other than that you want to make sure you feel comfortable that when you give it to the player that you feel their abilities merit it, that you’re going to get the performance,” said Dombrowski. “It’s an exchange of they’re getting a long-term contract and you’re getting some end of it back yourself. Maybe you’re getting some free agency type years. But I don’t really have any set formula when to do that and I think every player is different.”