With some buzz arising yesterday about the Astros possibly pursuing Tigers superstar Miguel Cabrera, Houston GM Jeff Luhnow suggested that it was more smoke than fire, as Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports. While he wouldn’t comment specifically, and acknowledged that the team discusses “lots of different scenarios” with its rivals, Luhnow largely doused the rumor. “I was asked, ’Would we consider a trade for a Hall of Fame-caliber first baseman,’ and we’re considering everything,” said Luhnow. “I think the media kind of ran with that.”
- We’ve also heard plenty of discussion of the Yankees possibly dealing catcher Brian McCann, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post has the latest. The Astros, Braves, and Nationals are “believed interested,” says Sherman, though we’ve yet to hear truly clear reporting connecting any single team to the backstop this winter. That’s due in part to the fact that McCann enjoys full no-trade protection. McCann’s agent, B.B. Abbott, did acknowledge that his client might be amenable to a return to Atlanta, where he makes his home, and will otherwise consider opportunities — with factors including location, competitiveness, and playing time — on a case-by-case basis. “He would look hypothetically at [the Braves] very seriously if [Yankees GM Brian Cashman] is able to do it,” said Abbott. “If it is a team a little closer to home that has a chance to contend that fits X, Y and Z, Mac will look at it and determine if it is a fit.” Abbott emphasized that McCann doesn’t have any kind of list of pre-approved teams, preferring instead to allow the organization to present any possible trade to him if it arises, and is hardly demanding that he be sent elsewhere.
- Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen says that he “fully anticipates” that righty Zack Greinke will pitch in Arizona next year, as Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports on Twitter. That’s not terribly surprising, and is hardly a committing comment, but it certainly suggests that the new D-Backs front office won’t be seeking to shed as much of Greinke’s contract as it can this winter. While the organization would surely need to entertain any serious offers for the veteran, the smarter course at this point may be to allow him to rebuild some value before seeking to unload the huge future commitment.
- The third base market could potentially see a bit of action via trade, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. He says that the Padres are getting bites on Yangervis Solarte and the White Sox are listening on Todd Frazier. Of course, there isn’t an enormous amount of demand around the game, and Justin Turner remains available as a high-quality free agent, though it’s certainly possible to imagine organizations like the Dodgers, Red Sox, Braves, and Brewers pursuing additions at the hot corner. The biggest conceivable trade piece, of course, would be Evan Longoria of the Rays, and Rosenthal says that Tampa Bay will indeed be open to considering offers. But it still remains quite difficult to see a deal coming together on him.
- The Mariners aren’t ruling out pursuit of a shortstop, though they feel comfortable with what they have, GM Jerry Dipoto told reporters including MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. Ketel Marte remains the incumbent regular, and Dipoto also cited Shawn O’Malley and Mike Freeman as internal depth pieces. On the one hand, said the GM, any more would be “more significant than finding somebody who can augment our situation at Triple-A.” On the other, it wouldn’t necessarily be a blockbuster. “If we do something at shortstop, it’s going to be more of a veteran guidance type of player,” said Dipoto. “Maybe the shortstop version of a Carlos Ruiz, but the market is not brimming with that type of player.” Free agent possibilities could in theory include Erick Aybar and Alexei Ramirez, but it seems they don’t hold much appeal for Seattle. Alternatively, the M’s could certainly also re-join their summer efforts to acquire Zack Cozart, or pursue a somewhat lesser-regarded veteran such as Danny Espinosa, though we’ve heard no specific suggestions as yet.
- White Sox GM Rick Hahn discussed the status of reliever David Robertson, who some view as a possible trade piece this winter, as Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago reports. He’s owed $25MM over the next two years and wasn’t quite himself in 2016, but robust demand for closers could make him a rather significant target. Offseason meniscus surgery isn’t expected to limit Robertson in camp, says Hahn. And the veteran reliever will also have a chance to fully recover from glut issues that Hahn says may have contributed to his struggles last year.