After grading every team’s offseason, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag provided a bevy of information on a variety of situations around the league in his latest notes post. Some is mostly of historical interest, and there’s lots more in the article, but these are some of the highlights with transactional ties:
- The Brewers “floated” an extension offer to infielder Jonathan Villar, says Heyman, but he wasn’t interested. The club’s initial offer, at least, would only have guaranteed him around $20MM. While Villar had a relatively undistinguished career before landing in Milwaukee, he was rather excellent last year and hasn’t yet turned 26. On the other hand, he won’t reach arbitration eligibility until next fall and still has to prove he can repeat that effort. Though Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio may have been willing to green-light pursuit of Matt Wieters, it seems that the front office wasn’t enthusiastic about that possibility.
- While the Rangers haven’t yet opened extension talks with catcher Jonathan Lucroy, it’s still expected that a deal will at least be explored. GM Jon Daniels has acknowledged as much, though it’s unclear just when the discussions will get underway. If nothing comes together, Lucroy promises to be one of the game’s most widely pursued free agents next winter. Texas, of course, is also chatting with starter Yu Darvish and second baseman Rougned Odor.
- The Dodgers explored a deal with the Tigers involving star righty Justin Verlander, per Heyman, who notes that “nothing got close.” Verlander’s hefty salary obligations were considered a barrier, though it seems his no-trade protection may not have been. The veteran righty has suggested he’d be amenable to consider a swap, and his relationship with Kate Upton would likely make Los Angeles an appealing destination. While the Dodgers have a quite a few starters on hand, it’ll be interesting to see whether the pursuit of the resurgent Verlander is rejoined at some point.
- Speaking of the Tigers, the organization evidently considered quite a few other deals before largely holding pat. The Mets “seriously discussed” giving up Michael Conforto for the final season of control over star slugger J.D. Martinez, but ultimately backed down. While the Astros reportedly checked in on Miguel Cabrera, they were asking for “more than half of the $150 million remaining on Cabrera’s contract” to be paid by Detroit and apparently never offered enough for the front office to bring a deal to ownership. And both the Twins and Padres made inquiries on shortstop Jose Iglesias, but clearly nothing developed with either team.
- Though the Indians had real interest in Chase Utley, the team’s offer was shy of the ultimately successful bid from the Dodgers. Still, it seems that Cleveland very nearly landed him before L.A. “stepped in late,” per Heyman.
- While the Reds have said they are done adding to their MLB roster, Heyman suggests the organization could make a play for some of the veteran pitchers still available. Cincinnati may even have outbid the Padres for Jered Weaver, who earned $3MM, though it’s not clear whether the club ever did so.
- Veteran righty Tim Lincecum is drawing some interest as he prepares for a showcase, according to Heyman, though surely he won’t draw as much intrigue as he did last year. It’s unclear what’s next for catcher Steve Clevenger, who has attempted to rehabilitate his image in an interview with Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. His former team, the Orioles, at least considered offering him a minor-league pact, but ultimately decided against it.