Here’s the latest from around the league:
- With Chris Davis off the board, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post looks at the market for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. While Davidoff runs through five of Cespedes’ top suitors, he ultimately concludes that none of them are a perfect fit to offer Cespedes his asking price. Budget or an unwillingness to spend on a right-handed outfielder are barriers with most of the obvious matches. The Tigers are a reasonable dark horse candidate for Cespedes (or Justin Upton) due to owner Mike Illich’s penchant for surprise blockbusters. With his market seemingly growing stale, I wonder if a team like the Phillies could be baited into a bid. They have the money and wouldn’t have to surrender a draft pick to sign him. Preposterous? Probably.
- The 2016-2017 free agent pool is thin in the outfield, making a one-year deal a viable option for Cespedes and Upton, writes AJ Cassavell of MLB.com. Carlos Gomez and Jose Bautista are the top names available, although either player could be re-signed. After the top pair, the market thins out dramatically. Re-entering the market strikes me as an unnecessary risk for Cespedes and Upton. Both players had strong, healthy platform seasons. Cespedes in particular stands to lose out if he’s impatient. He isn’t tied to a qualifying offer, and it’s hard to imagine him improving upon a 6.7 WAR season.
- Speaking of dark horse buyers, the Rays could jump in the market for a player like Upton, Ian Desmond, Pedro Alvarez, or Steve Pearce, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The Rays are still shopping their starting pitching, but the well-stocked free agent market may prove too tempting. Any free agent addition would require require owner Stuart Sternberg’s approval, but he’s been on board with opportunistic additions in the past. Topkin also lists Marlon Byrd, Justin Morneau, and David Murphy as possible fits. The club would like to get out from under some of the $8MM owed to James Loney.
- The Rockies have three obvious issues, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. The outfield is crowded by the addition of Gerardo Parra. The club seemingly would like to trade one or more of Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, and Corey Dickerson, presumably to solve their second problem – a lack of pitching depth and talent. The players themselves ask if Saunders if the Rockies will acquire pitching. So far, they’ve sat out the free agent market. The Rays are the most obvious sellers in the trade market. Last but not least, Jose Reyes’ future with the club is completely uncertain. He played poorly after joining the Rockies and currently faces criminal charges and possible jail time in relation to domestic abuse charges. He’s also a suspension candidate under the league’s new domestic violence policy.