The Astros haven’t been linked to David Price in free agent rumors, but that hasn’t stopped Dallas Keuchel from acting as a recruiter. “The baseball fan in me definitely would like to see [a rotation] upgrade but that’s not in my control. I know I’ve made pitches to David Price — it’s just the baseball fan in me at the end of the day,” Keuchel tells Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. “I just play. … I think (the bosses) know that we’re in a good position.” While Price may be a bit too expensive for the Astros, the team has certainly been connected to several other free agent arms as Houston looks to back up Keuchel with another first-rate starter. Here’s some more from around baseball…
- Two Marlins sources say that Jose Fernandez’s attitude is becoming a problem, with teammates annoyed that Fernandez “has become more entitled and cocky” due to perceived favoritism from owner Jeffrey Loria. Despite this issue, the team isn’t planning on trading Fernandez, though the Marlins know they’ll have a hard time retaining him once he hits free agency after the 2018 season.
- Also from Jackson, he reports that the Marlins have reached out to John Lackey, Scott Kazmir and Tim Lincecum, among other available starting pitchers. This is the first time we’ve heard of Miami’s interest in Lackey, though the veteran right-hander has been getting plenty of attention from several other clubs.
- If the Marlins change course on Fernandez and decide that a trade is necessary, the Dodgers, Red Sox, Royals, Twins and Astros could all be particularly good fits to acquire the star righty, ESPN’s David Schoenfield writes.
- Earlier this week, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told reporters (including the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes) that he’ll be looking to add a left-handed hitter to help balance out the Nats’ lineup. Starting pitching isn’t necessarily a big need, as Tanner Roark and Joe Ross look set to fill out the rotation behind Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, so while starting pitching isn’t necessarily a big need, Rizzo didn’t quite close the door on the subject. “I’m happy sliding Tanner and Joe in the rotation. With that said, you can never have enough good starting pitching,” Rizzo said.
- The Orioles haven’t swung any blockbuster trades under Dan Duquette’s watch, and CSNMidAtlantic.com’s Rich Dubroff doesn’t expect that to change this winter. Part of the issue this offseason is that the O’s don’t have much to offer in the way of prospects; Dubroff lists some of the notable minor league arms the Orioles have dealt in recent years, particularly three young starters traded within the last year just to address their right field hole (in the form of Travis Snider and then Gerardo Parra). As I noted in my Orioles Offseason Outlook piece, Baltimore has so many departing free agents that Duquette will need to be more aggressive than usual with trades or signings in order to keep the team competitive.
- The Yankees “fixate on high strikeout rates, low walk rates and high groundball percentages” for their starting pitchers, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman writes. With this model in mind, Sherman looks at ten pitchers that could be targeted by the Yankees in trade talks, though some will be harder to acquire than others since New York isn’t intending to deal top prospects like Aaron Judge.