Twins general manager Thad Levine revealed earlier this week that the team would have to be “really inspired” to trade second baseman Brian Dozier. It’s now possible the Dodgers will do enough to wow Minnesota into dealing Dozier, as Los Angeles is aggressively pursuing the slugger and has “piqued” the Twins’ interest, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link). The second base-needy Dodgers have been after Dozier throughout the offseason.
More rumblings with the winter meetings set to commence:
- Backing up a recent report from Rob Bradford of WEEI, the Red Sox are unlikely to sign free agent first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, writes Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald. Moreover, the Sox probably won’t make any major free agent splashes in general, adds Drellich, thanks in part to their reluctance to spend beyond the $195MM luxury-tax threshold accompanying the new collective bargaining agreement. Boston has exceeded the luxury-tax limit in each of the previous two seasons and will need to pay a 40 to 50 percent penalty if it surpasses the mark for a third straight year.
- In addition to the previously reported Chris Sale, the Astros have interest in Rays ace Chris Archer, per Fanrag’s Jon Heyman. There’s skepticism around the game that the Rays would trade Archer, though. The right-hander is under team control through 2021 at eminently affordable rates.
- A report earlier this week indicated that the Orioles had interest in free agent left-hander Rich Hill, but they haven’t pursued the 36-year-old, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Hill, who was with the O’s in 2009, is on the verge of re-signing with the Dodgers.
- Free agent closer Mark Melancon reportedly has four-year offers worth $60MM-plus in hand from San Francisco, Washington and perhaps another team. In light of that, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post tweets that the Rockies probably aren’t the mystery club; however, as a Colorado native, Melancon would be open to taking a bit less to join the Rockies, Saunders hears. General manager Jeff Bridich has reached out to Melancon’s representatives this offseason, but it’s nonetheless difficult to imagine the Rockies putting together a rich enough offer to land the 31-year-old.
- While the Nationals may have shored up the catcher position in trading for Derek Norris and avoiding arbitration with Jose Lobaton earlier this week, they’re still interested in free agent backstop Matt Wieters, relays Kubatko. If the Nats were to sign Wieters, the “sense” across the industry is that they’d look to flip Norris elsewhere.