Some trade chatter from around baseball…
- The Mariners talked with the Rays about a trade for Drew Smyly at the Winter Meetings, the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish reports. The M’s were known to be talking to the Rays about their pitching this winter, with Smyly mentioned as a better potential fit since the Mariners probably don’t have the prospect depth to land Chris Archer or Jake Odorizzi. Smyly posted solid but only decent numbers over 175 1/3 innings for Tampa last season, and with a projected $6.9MM arbitration figure, he has been often mentioned as a possible trade candidate for the payroll-conscious Rays.
- The Blue Jays reportedly turned down the Rockies’ ask of Marcus Stroman as part of a deal for Charlie Blackmon earlier this winter, and that seems to have ended the Jays’ chance of landing the outfielder, MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm writes. “Talks quickly died” between the two clubs once Stroman wasn’t made available, and Chisholm doesn’t think Toronto has enough other trade chips to get Colorado’s interest.
- There is always a premium on trading for pitching, though evaluators tell ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (subscription required) that the prospect haul the White Sox received from the Red Sox for Chris Sale has driven the price of available arms through the roof. “It’s crazy. It’s like everyone is trying to replicate their version of the [Sale] trade,” one executive said. As Olney notes, teams with pitching to spare like the Rays, Diamondbacks or the White Sox again (with Jose Quintana) lose nothing by making high demands now, since they could always shop their starters at the July trade deadline or next winter.
- The Athletics are thought to have “at least gauged trade interest for” Jed Lowrie, CSNBayArea.com’s Joe Stiglich writes. A deal could be difficult due to the foot surgery that prematurely ended Lowrie’s 2016 season last August, not to mention Lowrie’s long injury history in general and his middling numbers in recent seasons. Salary could also be a consideration, as Lowrie is guaranteed $6.5MM in 2017, and he has a $6MM club option (with a $1MM buyout) on his services for 2018. Dealing Lowrie would create even more uncertainty for the A’s at second base, a position Billy Beane already admits is “a concern” in the short term. Joey Wendle and Chad Pinder could be options at second if Lowrie is dealt or not healthy, while top shortstop prospect Franklin Barreto could also potentially switch to the keystone down the road.