We’ve been waiting for the outfield market to kick into high gear, and it seems set to do just that with Jason Heyward reportedly going off the board to the Cubs. As ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick writes, the action is now on Justin Upton, Yoenis Cespedes, and Alex Gordon. But a solid group of other players — including Dexter Fowler, Denard Span, Gerardo Parra, and Austin Jackson — is also still available. And t
Here’s the latest:
- The Royals have had contact with the Rockies on their three potentially-available outfielders, per Crasnick. It seems that Carlos Gonzalez carries by far the highest asking price, per Crasnick’s report, but the other two Colorado outfielders reportedly on the block — Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson — are cheaper and have greater control rights. In particular, Dickerson has put up some huge offensive numbers and won’t even hit arbitration until next year. While he missed time last year with plantar fasciitis and fractured ribs, he still looks to be a highly intriguing asset.
- Kansas City still is looking at Gordon as its first option, though, Crasnick adds. The club would probably turn to the next tier of free agency if it can’t pull off a Gordon re-signing or a trade. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan notes on Twitter that the team has “cast a wide net” in its search for outfield help.
- It seems less and less likely that the Marlins will end up dealing center fielder Marcell Ozuna this winter, as Crasnick tweets that the club has “aimed high” in its negotiations on the youngster. Miami has sought quality, young MLB pitchers — he mentions Yordano Ventura, Taijuan Walker, and Danny Salazar — and it’s not clear whether it will be amenable to settling for less.
- The Rangers have interest in free agent outfielder Justin Ruggiano as a right-handed depth piece, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Ruggiano is a very tough out for opposing southpaws, creating a potential fit with the heavily left-handed Texas lineup.
- Outfielder/first baseman Daniel Nava appears close to striking a deal with a team other than the Rays, despite Tampa Bay’s interest, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Nava, soon to turn 33, had a tough season last year, but at his best is a high-OBP switch-hitter.