While much of the trade chatter on Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen has focused on the Nationals, the Dodgers are also a plausible suitor, per ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. There’s interest from Los Angeles in the 30-year-old, not least of which because he’s controllable at a fairly reasonable salary and doesn’t come with a lengthy commitment.
- Despite the ongoing interest in McCutchen, the Nationals are also looking into other outfielders, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reports. Among the free agent center fielders who have at least come up internally are Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gomez and former Nats shortstop Ian Desmond. The organization has also given some thought to Adam Eaton of the White Sox. That’s doubly interesting given that the Nats are reportedly still engaged on star Chicago southpaw Chris Sale.
- While the Nationals are trying to work out arrangements to land McCutchen (or an alternative) and/or Sale, they remain in on closer Mark Melancon, per ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). Melancon’s market is moving along well, says Crasnick, with expectations that he could land as much as $60MM over a four-year term. While Washington is clearly intrigued at a reunion, Crasnick adds that the Giants remain engaged and may even be better-situated for a strike on Melancon given that the Nats’ attention may lie elsewhere.
- That being said, the Giants are also looking to add a power bat in the outfield, and they have continued to consider Tigers slugger J.D. Martinez, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). That interest has been known for some time, but it seems there’s still life to the possibility. Notably, GM Bobby Evans has signaled that San Francisco does not wish to take on a long-term obligation in the outfield, as Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. The same rationale that makes Martinez appealing — his one year of team control — could also make Mets outfielder Jay Bruce a possibility, Schulman notes.
- Another team in the outfield market is the Rangers, who hope to add a center fielder as well as another starter. GM Jon Daniels says that he’s currently paying more attention to the trade market than to free agency, as T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com tweets. Texas is drawing hits on relief pitching, Daniels added.
- The Yankees have their eye on four possibilities for a big bat, per Heyman (via Twitter): Edwin Encarnacion, Matt Holliday, Mike Napoli, and Carlos Beltran. Most of those free agents have been connected to New York in some form already, though Holliday has not been mentioned with much specificity. Of note, beyond the interest of the Yankees, is that Holliday is apparently looking for a two-year deal, while Beltran appears to be available for a single-season commitment.
- High-octane lefty Aroldis Chapman remains in excellent position to land a big new deal, but Heyman tweets that he’s not necessarily hunting for a nine-figure contract. While the bargaining could presumably still push the price tag toward (if not past) the $100MM mark, that’s not a “demand” of the free agent, per the report.
- As the Pirates weigh a number of pursuits, the organization remains engaged with lefty Derek Holland, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports on Twitter. Bucs GM Neal Huntington is set to meet with Holland’s reps at the Winter Meetings early next week.