The Braves are still looking at trading for an ace even after adding Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey and Jaime Garcia to their rotation this winter and are specifically focused on White Sox lefty Chris Sale and Rays right-hander Chris Archer, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (all Twitter links). The Braves prefer Sale to Archer despite the potentially higher asking price and shorter amount of club control remaining on his contract, Crasnick adds. Atlanta is receiving quite a bit of interest in top prospect Ozzie Albies (in general and not specifically from the White Sox or Rays), Crasnick adds, but they’re expressing a good deal of reluctance to part with him. The Braves don’t seem especially enamored of Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray on the heels of a down season in 2016, according to Crasnick.
Some more trade chatter from around the league…
- The Tigers have been receiving plenty of calls about their veterans as they look to get younger and cut some payroll this winter, but MLB Network’s Jon Morosi tweets one name that has been drawing considerable interest without generating many headlines: lefty reliever Justin Wilson. Per Morosi, Detroit has “perhaps the largest number of inquiries” on Wilson as teams look to bolster their left-handed relief corps. The arbitration-eligible Wilson is projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn just $2.7MM next season, so he wouldn’t trim much payroll of the Tigers’ books. But, he could certainly fetch a nice prospect or two, allowing the Tigers to get a bit younger in the process. Wilson, 29, posted excellent peripherals that suggest his marginal 4.14 ERA will improve in 2017 and beyond (10.0 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 54.9 percent ground-ball rate, 3.02 SIERA).
- Morosi also tweets that the Phillies are seeking a short-term outfield bat and have inquired with the Tigers about J.D. Martinez, but talks didn’t advance much, he notes. Martinez has been one of the most talked-about trade candidates of the offseason and seems to have a decent chance of landing elsewhere this winter, but the asking price on him is apparently quite high at the moment. Newsday’s Marc Carig reported yesterday that Michael Conforto’s name came up in talks with the Mets before New York re-signed Yoenis Cespedes. (Unsurprisingly, talks died quickly once Detroit mentioned Conforto, per Carig.)
- The Brewers are trying to trade recently-designated-for-assignment slugger Chris Carter before tonight’s 8pm ET non-tender deadline tweets Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. The Orioles, who just claimed a player with a potentially similar skill set in Adam Walker, aren’t likely to make a play for Carter, per Heyman (whose tweet came prior to the Walker claim). Carter’s current scenario is somewhat reminiscent of last year’s Mark Trumbo situation, as he’s a player with prodigious power that the league isn’t valuing at his arbitration number due to defensive concerns, high strikeout tendencies and a questionable on-base percentage. The Mariners were able to get a nominal return for Trumbo rather than non-tendering him, but MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy tweets that Milwaukee shopped Carter around for a month before designating him, so it seems unlikely that a trade will materialize in the next six hours.