The Braves are reportedly still in the mix for Chris Sale, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Atlanta also made a run at Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray but found Oakland’s asking price to be prohibitive (Twitter link). Oakland did not ask for Dansby Swanson to be included in the deal, but Atlanta still felt the A’s were asking for too much in return.
A few more notes on the market for starting pitchers…
- The Royals are gauging interest in left-hander Danny Duffy, reports MLB Network’s Jon Morosi (via Twitter). Duffy had a breakout campaign this past season, tossing 179 2/3 innings with a 3.51 ERA, 9.4 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and a 36.4 percent ground-ball rate. As Morosi points out, he could make sense for a team looking to augment its rotation but unwilling to part with the talent required to land someone like Chris Sale or Chris Archer. Duffy, however, is a free agent next winter, so he’d be a short-term upgrade rather than a long-term solution like those other names.
- The Astros are more likely to trade for rotation help than they are to pursue the remaining free agents on the market, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney. Houston isn’t in on right-hander Ivan Nova and likely considers him to be too expensive, per Olney. The Astros are reportedly open to moving either Collin McHugh or Mike Fiers as they seek to create some roster/payroll flexibility, as Olney’s colleague, Jayson Stark, reported earlier today.
- Pirates officials are set to meet with free agent lefty Derek Holland at some point this week at the Winter Meetings, reports Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter). The Bucs have been linked to H0lland on multiple occasions this winter as the former Ranger looks to rebuild his stock with a healthy 2017 campaign.
- The Marlins are showing some interest in right-hander Doug Fister, tweets FanRag’s Jon Heyman, but adding an established closer is the team’s No. 1 priority at the moment. This isn’t the first time Miami has been connected to Fister, but that fact that they’re still interested after adding Edinson Volquez to the mix is notable.