Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports argues that the Blue Jays may have misread the market for power bats this winter. In the case of Toronto, he suggests, the team ought to have been more patient with Edwin Encarnacion. By moving quickly to give a three-year deal to Kendrys Morales after Encarnacion declined to take the team’s early-offseason offer, the Jays may have spent much more than necessary to land a player of Morales’s quality while also tying their hands on Encarnacion, who ended up signing for one year and $20MM less than Toronto had reportedly offered.
- The Mets, too, might have erred in their approach on Jay Bruce. He now seems a superfluous piece after the re-signing of Yoenis Cespedes, and Rosenthal says that he expects New York will need to pay down part of Bruce’s $13MM salary to deal him. The team picked up that option in large part to insure against the loss of Cespedes; a team source notes that insurance “doesn’t come for free,” and Rosenthal notes that the decision may have improved their bargaining position with their star free agent. But perhaps a greater recognition of the flood of sluggers would have led the team to choose an alternate path to protecting itself in the event of a departure of Cespedes.
- As they continue to look to bolster their lineup, the Athletics are showing interest in free-agent third baseman Trevor Plouffe, per Rosenthal. He’d presumably be a value-focused addition to the overall mix at third and first base. Of course, Oakland is also said to be looking at Mark Trumbo, so it seems the organization is still casting a fairly wide net.
- While there has been a suggestion that the Dodgers won’t form a package around Jose De Leon to pry Brian Dozier from the Twins, preferring instead to pursue a one-for-one deal, Rosenthal writes that Los Angeles is “willing to include other prospects” to get something done. Of course, it could well be that the issue isn’t so much the inclusion of some other pre-MLB players — surely, the Dodgers could find some expendable pieces to part with — so much as the question whether any are seen by Minnesota as adding significant value.
- Jon Heyman of Fan Rag provides a lengthy list of the winners and losers in the open-market action to date, though that can still change with a lot of free agents left and perhaps some trades still to be swung. As for some of those still-unsigned open-market players, Heyman provides a few notes. Jose Bautista’s representatives “circled back” to the Orioles to gauge interest, but it still seems that Baltimore isn’t interested. And the Blue Jays “do not seem anxious” to strike a deal with the veteran. Meanwhile, the O’s remain involved on Trumbo.
- Heyman further notes that there remains robust demand for left-handed relievers. He lists the Mets, Yankees, Indians, and Blue Jays as teams still looking at southpaws. Jerry Blevins, Boone Logan, Travis Wood, and J.P. Howell are among the established left-handed options that remain available.
- It’s unlikely that the Rangers will bring back veteran righty Colby Lewis, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Though “the door’s open,” per GM Jon Daniels, he adds that he doesn’t “foresee anything happening at this point” with Lewis. Texas would be interested only in a minor-league arrangement, it seems, due in part to questions over Lewis’s health outlook.