SUNDAY: The Marlins might be the mystery team vying for Melancon, writes FanRag’s Jon Heyman. Despite its payroll limitations, Miami is committed to building an elite bullpen and is also chasing Jansen, as Heyman first reported last month, and Chapman. As of a couple weeks ago, the Marlins were “highly unlikely” to land Chapman, per one of his associates.
SATURDAY, 9:49pm: Melancon has four-year offers worth upward of $60MM from the Giants, Nationals and perhaps one other team, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Giants have likely made the strongest offer, tweets Rosenthal.
2:17pm: The Giants are still on the lookout for a closer, and are more likely to find one via the free agent market rather than a trade, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick writes (all Twitter links). Giants GM Bobby Evans says the team likes all of the so-called Big Three options, which include Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon.
Crasnick further notes that Melancon might make the most sense of the bunch since they pursued him last summer and since he should cost less than Chapman or Jansen. (Also, unlike Jansen, Melancon would not require the loss of a draft pick.) The Giants met last month with the agents of all three players.
Melancon is coming off a terrific season with the Pirates and Nationals in which he posted a 1.64 ERA, 8.2 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 with a strong 54.2 ground ball percentage. He doesn’t have the dominating strikeout totals of Chapman or Jansen, but his results speak for themselves. The Nationals have also reportedly pursued him this winter, and his market has been surprisingly robust, with guesses about what he might be able to get trending upward to the four-year/$60-million range.