The Braves are “aggressively swapping offers” with other organizations for starters, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (Twitter link). Atlanta has been rumored to have inquired on basically all of the quality, young, controllable arms that might be available, and it seems that the organization is serious about pursuing a major strike. One such pitcher, of course, is White Sox lefty Chris Sale, who has also reportedly been asked about by the Braves’ division rivals to the north. Adding a starting pitcher isn’t exactly a priority for the Nationals, at least from the perspective of need, but Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post argues that the team ought to push hard for Sale. By Svrluga’s reckoning, the team has the prospect arsenal needed to get something done; after another postseason disappointment, he says, adding another ace could get the team over the hump.
Here are a few more notes on the developing market:
- There are five teams in on free agent utilityman Sean Rodriguez, reports Chris Cotillo of SB Nation (via Twitter). One is the Pirates, who have said they’re interested in a reunion, and the Dodgers are also intrigued, per Robert Murray of Fan Rag. MLBTR rated Rodriguez as the 35th-best free agent available after his productive 2016 campaign.
- We’ve heard discussion about the possibility of the Phillies dealing Cesar Hernandez, particularly after the team acquired second-base-capable Howie Kendrick, and CSNPhilly.com’s Corey Seidman takes a look at his possible trade market. His productive 2016 and cheap control make him an interesting option for other organizations, though the question remains whether he can sustain his breakout. Seidman discusses some players who could hold appeal to Philadelphia, suggesting that the club would be most interested in a major league return.
- Lefty Johan Santana may not be done yet, Cotillo adds on Twitter. He’s planning on winter ball in Venezuela in hopes that he can land an opportunity with a major league organization. This certainly isn’t the first time that Santana, now 37, has had a crack at a return, but his prior efforts have all been thwarted by injury. The two-time Cy Young winner has not seen major league action since 2012.
- Free agent slugger Wilin Rosario is still hopeful of landing with a major league club after spending a year in Korea, Cotillo tweets, but he’s not committed to playing in North America. A return to the KBO could also be a consideration, per the report. Rosario, 27, may no longer be an option behind the dish, but his power should intrigue regardless. Over 532 plate appearances last year with the Hanwha Eagles, he posted a .321/.367/.593 batting line with 33 long balls, though of course the KBO is a notably friendly league for hitters.