The Blue Jays have had discussions with the White Sox regarding closer David Robertson, who’s “more than available,” writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Chicago isn’t in any rush to move Robertson, though, because the team believes he’ll possess significant value around the summer trade deadline. Robertson will be more than a rental if the White Sox move him in the coming months, as he has two years and $25MM remaining on his contract. While Toronto already has a high-level closer in Roberto Osuna, it could use another setup option to go with Joe Biagini and Jason Grilli.
More from Cafardo on those two clubs and a couple others:
- The White Sox are “100 percent committed” to keeping star prospect Yoan Moncada at second base, a team source told Cafardo. Moncada, who’s the centerpiece of the haul the White Sox acquired from Boston for Chris Sale last month, primarily played third base in his brief cup of coffee at the major league level last season. Notably, some scouts have suggested moving the athletic 21-year-old to center field, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told Chuck Garfien of Comcast Sportsnet Chicago on Saturday (Twitter link).
- Before they agreed to a minor league contract with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Blue Jays showed interest in free agent Matt Wieters, relays Cafardo. Toronto already has an everyday catcher in Russell Martin, of course, and also possesses no shortage of first base/designated hitter types (though Cafardo doesn’t specify whether Wieters was on Toronto’s radar before or after it signed Kendrys Morales, Steve Pearce and Jose Bautista). With the Jays out of the picture, the Astros and the previously reported Rays remain possibilities for Wieters, who wanted a three-year deal at the outset of free agency, adds Cafardo. The Astros are another curious fit, however, with Brian McCann and Evan Gattis behind the plate – not to mention the presences of first baseman Yulieski Gurriel and DH Carlos Beltran.
- The Royals’ interest in free agent right-hander Jason Hammel has picked up since Yordano Ventura tragically died last Sunday, per Cafardo. Kansas City was surely banking on quality production in 2017 from Ventura, who tossed at least 163 innings in each of his three major league seasons and totaled a career-best 186 frames last year. From strictly an on-field standpoint, Hammel’s track record suggests he would help replace the stunning loss of Ventura. Hammel has racked up three straight years with 166-plus innings and sub-4.00 ERAs, though he surprisingly hasn’t been able to find work this offseason since the Cubs declined his option in November. It’s worth noting that the 34-year-old experienced elbow tightness late last season and wasn’t active for the World Series champions’ playoff run.
- Along with Hammel, free agent first baseman Chris Carter has piqued the Royals’ interest, but Cafardo notes that they seem likelier to target a left-handed hitter. There are still several notable lefty-swinging options remaining in free agency, including Pedro Alvarez, Brandon Moss, Logan Morrison, Adam Lind, Justin Morneau and Ryan Howard.