Dodgers righty Kenley Jansen says he is grateful to the team for all it has done for him, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reports, but notes that he fully intends to explore the open market this winter. “We’ll have to see what’s good for the family,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough decision. It’s not going to only be me.” Infielder Justin Turner, meanwhile, says he’d “love to stay” in Los Angeles, as Heyman provides in his weekly notes column. Both figure to be targets for the Dodgers in free agency, but also ought to draw wide-ranging interest from other organizations.
Here are some of the other highlights from Heyman’s latest post:
- Heyman pushes back on recent reports suggesting that the Dodgers nearly shipped Yasiel Puig to the Brewers as part of a package to acquire Ryan Braun. A source tells him that “there was a lot of dialogue but [a swap] was never close.” Regardless, it seems that there’s still merit to the idea that the teams could revisit the scenario this winter.
- “No great offers” emerged last winter for Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, according to the report. But Colorado may be wise to shop him again in a few months, Heyman writes, as the team’s glut of left-handed-hitting outfielders could represent an opportunity to improve in other areas. Gonzalez is hitting a productive .300/.350/.523, even if it is aided by playing at Coors Field, and is owed a reasonable $37MM over the next two seasons. It’s worth noting, too, that the club could potentially not only turn that contract into some intriguing, younger assets, but would also free up a good bit of payroll space to deploy on the open market.
- The upcoming market for free agents is obviously short on star power, but Heyman provides some preliminary guesses on the contracts for the top players. He suggests four years and $100MM for Yoenis Cespedes of the Mets as the biggest deal that could be had (assuming, as seems likely, that he’ll opt out of his deal). From my perspective, another star campaign from Cespedes has likely boosted his market beyond that level. The Cuban slugger rates as the top overall free agent on the free agent power ranking of MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes.
- Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays is fourth on Dierkes’s most recent list — he rates Aroldis Chapman and Jansen higher — while Heyman rates him second to Cespedes. But the veteran slugger is headed for a monster contract regardless, and Heyman notes that the continued belief around the game is that Toronto won’t extend itself to retain him. Instead, the Jays seem to be angling to put together a younger roster.
- Whether Blue Jays skipper John Gibbons is interested in staying on with more change possibly afoot remains to be seen, but Heyman says that the club has been impressed with his work. An internal team source suggests that the team will attempt to retain him — at least as long as a postseason berth is secured — and sources with ties to the skipper say that he likely prefers to stick in the position rather than hunting for another opportunity elsewhere.
- Carlos Santana is highly likely to return to the Indians, per the report. His $12MM club option is a “no-brainer” for the club, a source says. The 30-year-old never seemed very likely to be allowed to test the market: he carries a .243/.353/.471 batting line with 31 long balls and has struck out only one time more than he has walked thus far in 2016.
- The Red Sox are expected to pursue relief help on the upcoming free agent market, Heyman says. That’s not surprising to hear, of course, as depth and quality have both been in question at times and the team is set to watch pitchers such as Brad Ziegler, Koji Uehara, and Junichi Tazawa depart via free agency.
- With a group of talented, high-performing players on hand, the Mariners are “talking behind the scenes” about taking advantage of a window of contention, according to Heyman. That could position the club to strike out on the free agent market in search of a “complementary piece,” he says. There are several areas the team could target, but I wonder whether the time may be right to add a slugging first baseman; there are several available, and the team is set to lose its primary tandem of Adam Lind and Dae-ho Lee to free agency.