The Yankees are reportedly open to nearly any scenario this winter, and according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, that includes trading Andrew Miller. While Heyman is careful to note that the scenario isn’t likely and the Yankees aren’t actively shopping their excellent closer, other clubs have said that Miller’s name is “out there a bit,” as Heyman puts it. Andy Martino of the New York Daily News applauds GM Brian Cashman’s open-mindedness (Twitter link). He speculates that the Yankees could flip Miller for immediate help and then trade prospects to acquire Craig Kimbrel from the Padres, leaving the 2016 club improved overall. The Yankees already have a dominant late-inning arm that could step into the ninth inning in place of Miller, of course, in Dellin Betances, though there’s certainly something to be said for having a pair of shutdown arms to handle the final two-plus innings of a game.
A few more notes from the relief market as the GM Meetings get underway…
- Preliminary interest in Darren O’Day is “steep,” tweets Heyman, who adds that the Tigers, Cubs, Nationals, Red Sox, Royals and Dodgers are all in at this stage. The 32-year-old O’Day is probably the top relief arm on the market, as he’s coming off a dominant stretch in which he posted a 1.92 ERA in 263 innings over a four-year stretch spanning 2012-15. O’Day landed 33rd on MLBTR’s Top 50 Free Agent list, with Tim Dierkes projecting a three-year deal worth about $22.5MM.
- The Tigers will meet with the representatives for right-hander Joakim Soria at the GM Meetings this week, according to Tony Paul of the Detroit News (links to Twitter). The Tigers traded Soria to the Pirates at this summer’s non-waiver deadline, but that move was carried out by the since-departed Dave Dombrowski, and it stands to reason that new GM Al Avila, who is known to be seeking bullpen upgrades, could want Soria back in the ninth inning in Detroit. Paul adds that the Tigers’ preference between O’Day and Soria could come down to who is more willing to sign first, as the team will want to move onto other needs/targets relatively quickly.
- Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star tweets that Ryan Madson, who picked up a World Series ring and emphatically re-established himself as a quality big league setup man with the Royals this season, is seeking a multi-year deal on the free agent market. That’s not a huge surprise given the lack of elite relief arms on the free agent market this season and the strong results he delivered in 2015. Madson tallied a 2.13 ERA with 8.2 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9 in 63 1/3 innings with Kansas City this season. He struggled in the ALDS and ALCS before turning in three very strong World Series innings. Tim pegged Madson for a three-year deal in the $15MM range in the aforementioned Top 50 list.