The Blue Jays and free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler are “apart” in talks, per FanRag’s Jon Heyman, who adds that the Cardinals remain a “strong possibility” to land the soon-to-be former Cub (Twitter link). The Giants were also in the running for the 30-year-old as of last week, though it’s unclear if that’s still the case. Fowler is reportedly seeking $18MM per annum on a multiyear deal.
More from around the majors:
- The Astros have been ultra-aggressive in upgrading their roster this offseason, yet team president Reid Ryan indicated Sunday that they’re still missing a major piece. “What we lack is that starter who you pencil in at the top of the rotation that is an automatic W,” Ryan told MLB Network Radio (Twitter link). Houston does have 2015 AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel atop its rotation, though his production took steps backward during a shoulder injury-shortened 2016. Notably, the Astros are in the mix for White Sox ace Chris Sale and the Rays’ starters, including Chris Archer.
- The Rangers have two star-caliber players entering contract years in ace Yu Darvish and catcher Jonathan Lucroy, but the team is unlikely to discuss extensions with either during the winter meetings, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). For now, the reigning AL West champions’ focus is on making outside acquisitions. The Rangers could certainly turn their attention to new deals for Darvish and Lucroy later in the offseason.
- Even though Joe Nathan turned 42 last month, the free agent reliever plans to continue his career and is drawing interest from clubs, tweets Heyman. Nathan, who’s eighth on the all-time saves list (377), returned from 2015 Tommy John surgery to throw a combined 6 1/3 scoreless innings with the Cubs and Giants last season.
- The market for free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is “moving,” a source told SB Nation’s Chris Castillo, who reports that three teams are chasing the 31-year-old (Twitter link). The switch-hitter batted just .171/.284/.346 in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers in 2016, and both Baseball Prospectus and StatCorner assigned him negative defensive grades.