Quite a bit of competition is lining up for Carlos Beltran, who is now being pursued by both the Red Sox and Yankees, as Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald writes. The Blue Jays, too, have reached out, and the Astros seemingly remain a possibility, providing yet more evidence that multiple organizations currently have more interest in a limited commitment to Beltran than they do a lengthier pact with Edwin Encarnacion. While Toronto’s addition of Kendrys Morales has started the movement on sluggers, there are a wide variety still available, and it promises to remain an area of intrigue for much of the offseason.
A few more late-night notes from around the league…
- Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle certainly didn’t sound like he’s convinced center fielder Andrew McCutchen will remain with the organization when the 2017 season begins, as Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. “I’ll take it one day at a time,” said Hurdle when asked about the possibility of a McCutchen trade. “I think any general manager that’s in a market similar to the one we’re in has to explore the possibility of (trading) players who have one or two years left on their contracts. You have to see what value is there to keep or to move.” While McCutchen is hopeful of spending his career in Pittsburgh, Biertempfel writes that the Pirates haven’t approached him about extending his current six-year, $51.5MM contract, which has one more guaranteed year (2017) and an affordable club option (2018).
- The Brewers are getting trade inquiries on right-hander Junior Guerra, reports Jon Morosi of the MLB Network (via Twitter). That Milwaukee would receive interest isn’t necessarily a shock, given Guerra’s controllable nature and the strong debut season he had in Milwaukee. It’ll be interesting to see if further reports emerge about GM David Stearns seriously entertaining offers on Guerra, whose 2016 success was certainly unique in nature. This past year marked Guerra’s rookie season, but unlike most first-year success stories, Guerra is a 31-year-old (32 in January) that was plucked off waivers by Stearns last offseason and enjoyed a terrific but somewhat out-of-the-blue debut. The former Braves, Mets and White Sox farmhand made 20 starts for Milwaukee and quietly pitched to a 2.81 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 45.3 percent ground-ball rate while averaging a tick over 93 mph on his fastball. Guerra still holds tremendous appeal for the the 2017 season, but it seems likely that the Brewers will at least listen to offers on him, as Milwaukee may not contend until 2018 or even 2019, at which point Guerra will be in his age-33 or age-34 season.
- First baseman Mitch Moreland is a free agent for the first time in his career, but he said in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM yesterday (Twitter link) that if things go his way, he’d be back with the Rangers in 2017 and beyond. “Texas would be my first choice,” said the 31-year-old. “I love it there.” Whether the Rangers reciprocate that interest isn’t yet known, but the team does have a need at first base and DH with Moreland hitting the open market and Prince Fielder’s sudden retirement. Texas does have the option of letting the much-ballyhooed Joey Gallo take some of those at-bats in 2017, though there have been indications that the organization feels he’d benefit from opening next year in the minors. Texas has presently been focused on other matters and is reportedly on the verge of completing a one-year deal with righty Andrew Cashner. Moreland, meanwhile, turned in another 20-homer season in 2016 but saw his OBP dip as well. Overall, he hit .233/.298/.422 with 22 big flies in 503 trips to the plate.