Interest remains strong in White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana, writes CBS Chicago’s Bruce Levine, who reports that teams have sweetened their trade proposals for the 27-year-old over the past week. While the Astros, Pirates and Yankees have been connected to Quintana more than anyone else this offseason, there are also other clubs in the mix, sources told Levine, who adds that the White Sox could strike a deal to move him soon. Chicago isn’t in any hurry to give up Quintana, but Levine expects it to happen prior to spring training.
Elsewhere around the majors…
- Yankees southpaw C.C. Sabathia will turn 37 in 2017, the last year of his contract, but retirement isn’t on his mind. Regarding the end of the long Yankee tenures of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira last season, Sabathia told Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record, “If anything, it made me want to play as long as I can. As long as I’m healthy and feeling good, I want to play.’’ While Sabathia is no longer the front-line starter he was earlier in his career, he did bounce back last season from a couple subpar years in a row. In 179 2/3 innings, he logged a 3.91 ERA, 7.61 K/9, 3.26 BB/9 and 50.1 percent ground-ball rate. That impressed general manager Brian Cashman, who said, “It’s a big year for him. It’s his free-agent walk year. And I’ll sign up right now to get what we got out of him last year. He was very effective.’’ Cashman also stated that Sabathia’s “expectations and hopes are to pitch for another four or five years or something like that.”
- The Nationals and right fielder Bryce Harper avoided arbitration Friday when they agreed to a $13.625MM salary for 2017. That figure trumps MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz’s $9.3MM arbitration projection for Harper, leading Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com to wonder if it was a goodwill gesture on the Nationals’ part. Harper made $5MM last season, which was a bargain even during a down year for the 2015 National League MVP. By nearly tripling Harper’s salary, Zuckerman posits that the Nats may have been trying to make up for his cheap cost last year and perhaps improve their chances of extending the Scott Boras client before he hits free agency two winters from now. However, regardless of the club’s motivation, Zuckerman concedes that Harper’s 2017 salary probably won’t affect whether he’ll stay in D.C.
- Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk underwent left knee surgery to remove loose cartilage earlier this offseason, he told reporters – including Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch – on Sunday (Twitter link). Grichuk added that he’s doing well after a month-plus recovery. The 25-year-old has now undergone surgeries in back-to-back offseasons, including a procedure to repair a sports hernia last winter. With the signing of big-money center fielder Dexter Fowler in free agency, Grichuk is in line for the everyday job in left next season (depth chart).