Free agent center fielder Ben Revere is reportedly likely to sign in the near future (as MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko first relayed earlier today), and Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet tweets that the Blue Jays won’t be his landing spot. That crosses the Blue Jays and Orioles (per Kubatko) off the list for Revere — two teams that could conceivably be in the market for a left-handed-hitting outfielder with some speed. Multiple teams still make some degree of sense for Revere, with the Giants, Mariners, Rangers, Angels and Tigers all striking me as on-paper fits (though that list is purely speculative). Non-tendered by the Nats this offseason, Revere logged a dismal .217/.260/.300 batting line in 375 plate appearances in 2016, but he’d batted .305 or better in each of the three prior seasons.
- Braves president of baseball operations John Hart spoke with MLB.com’s Hal Bodley about the parallels between the rebuild he’s helped to architect in Atlanta and the one that he led in Cleveland back in the early to mid-90s. Hart also discussed the team’s decision to promote Dansby Swanson this past summer and the decision to add a trio of veteran starters — Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey, Jaime Garcia — this winter despite the team’s bulk of young pitching. “We didn’t want to stand in the way of our young pitchers, so we went with guys who I think are going to give us innings,” said Hart of adding three starters on one-year commitments. “I think this gives us a more competitive ballclub going into the new park. I don’t think this deviates from the plan we have.”
- The Yankees “appear content” with Matt Holliday serving as the major offensive addition to their roster this winter, writes MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, which increases the importance of Greg Bird to the team’s 2017 roster. Bird is the early favorite to serve as manager Joe Girardi’s everyday first baseman next year, and GM Brian Cashman said that getting a look at Bird in the Arizona Fall League was important. “All we care about is him having a full healthy Fall League, which he’s done,” said Cashman. “It checks the box and we’ll be looking forward to seeing him in Spring Training. All reports are, he looks good.” Bird and Tyler Austin could compete for time at first base and may eventually settle into a platoon, while the outfield could see Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks in a similar spring battle for playing time, Hoch writes.
- Nationals right-hander Joe Ross missed significant time with a shoulder injury in 2016, but MLB.com’s Jamal Collier writes that the 23-year-old’s arm is back to health. Ross took a few weeks off to rest his shoulder, and it’s now full strength as Ross progresses through his typical offseason routine. As Collier points out, the trades of Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez magnify the importance of getting a healthy season out of Ross. Notably, Ross said he’s tinkering with some potential mechanical alterations to his delivery and throwing program in an effort to stay healthier next year.