Brandon Moss lingers on the free agent market despite a relatively successful season with the Cardinals in 2016. According to ESPN’s David Schoenfield, that’s due not only to the logjam of 1B/OF sluggers still available via free agency, but to the fact that teams would increasingly prefer to find the next Brandon Moss than to sign the existing one at something close to market value. Moss’ own history is a data point in favor of this approach — he struggled for several years after his first taste of the big leagues before performing well as a cheap acquisition for the Athletics, giving the A’s much better value than they likely would have gotten with a big-name signing. Also, in the past several years the game has gotten younger as players have begun their decline phases at earlier ages, meaning that players at Moss’ current age (33) are less likely to be meaningful contributors. Here’s more from the National League.
- Cubs ace Jake Arrieta doesn’t sound optimistic about his chances of receiving an extension in his last year before free agency eligibility, but his team still says it’s willing to try to negotiate one, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets. “Years and dollars are always complicated, but I’m sure we’ll take a stab at it,” president of baseball operations Theo Epstein told fans today. Arrieta and the Cubs avoided arbitration by agreeing to terms on a one-year, $15.6375MM deal on Friday.
- The Rockies have been speculatively connected to various catchers this offseason (including, for example, Matt Wieters). But the team is comfortable with its young duo of Tony Wolters and Tom Murphy, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes. “We are certainly monitoring the catching market, but we are extremely high and positive on the group that we have and we feel like there is a good, young core there,” says GM Jeff Bridich. Wolters entered the season with no big-league experience and a limited minor-league track record behind the plate, although he hit a reasonable .259/.327/.395 and received good marks for his framing. Murphy has played sparingly in the big leagues, but he batted .327/.361/.647 with 19 homers in 322 plate appearances in the admittedly hitter-friendly context of Triple-A Albuquerque last year.