Opposing teams bring up right-handers Carlos Martinez and Alex Reyes more than any other Cardinals in trade talks, general manager John Mozeliak told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Unsurprisingly, though, the Redbirds are “extremely unlikely” to deal either, said Mozeliak. The Cardinals were interested in extending Martinez as of October. For now, Martinez is arbitration eligible for the first time, with MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projecting a $5.3MM award. The 22-year-old Reyes, on the other hand, won’t hit arbitration until after the 2019 season. Mozeliak is focusing on helping Martinez, Reyes and the rest of the Cardinals’ pitchers by improving the team’s defense this offseason, which he realizes “took a step backwards” in 2016. “We put a lot of stress on our pitchers this past year. Our whole staff is defined by ground balls. It’s a pretty simple leap to say that if we play better defense, we’re going to win more games,” he commented.
- Sixteen teams have shown interest in free agent reliever Daniel Hudson, tweets Jon Heyman of FanRag. One of those clubs is the Diamondbacks, with whom the right-hander pitched from 2010-16. With a 5.22 ERA in 60 1/3 innings, the two-time Tommy John surgery recipient struggled to prevent runs last season, but he did show impressive velocity and post respectable strikeout (8.65) and walk (3.28) rates per nine.
- The Pirates are willing to pay some of left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo’s $6.5MM salary for 2017 in order to trade him, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bastardo’s coming off a disappointing year spent with the Mets and Bucs, as he logged a 4.52 ERA in 67 2/3 innings and allowed a .253/.321/.495 line to lefty hitters. He’s currently one of four southpaws in Pittsburgh’s bullpen, joining Tony Watson, Felipe Rivero and Wade LeBlanc.
- In the event the Red Sox prefer a left-handed hitter to take over their vacant designated hitter job, they could attempt to acquire Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson from the Mets, writes Scott Lauber of ESPN.com. The Mets look likely to trade at least one of the two outfielders this offseason, perhaps as early as the winter meetings.
- Free agent righty Tyson Ross will take his time signing with a team, tweets Peter Gammons, who notes that the 29-year-old should recover from October surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome between February and April. The Padres non-tendered Ross on Friday after he missed nearly all of last season with shoulder troubles.