The Cardinals have shown at least some interest in White Sox lefty Jose Quintana, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, though he makes clear there’s no indication that Chicago is likely to strike a deal for the lefty before the start of the season. It seems that the Cards’ interest is something worth bearing in mind as the season progresses and their rotation needs come into focus, though certainly other teams will also continually monitor the asking price for Quintana. St. Louis, of course has already lost young Alex Reyes for the year due to Tommy John surgery and will reportedly place Trevor Rosenthal on the disabled list to open the season.
- Extension talks between the Indians and star shortstop Francisco Lindor do not appear to have gained much traction, per Heyman. There’s just not enough incentive for him to take a deal, Heyman suggests, due at least in part to the fact that Lindor has landed a significant marketing contract with New Balance. It’s also perhaps worth noting that Lindor received a $2.9MM signing bonus when he was drafted eighth overall back in 2011.
- The Rays are still on the hunt for outfield help, though the addition of Peter Bourjos to the organization gives them one potential fourth outfield option. Heyman lists free agent Angel Pagan and the Cubs’ Matt Szczur as speculative fits, though the out-of-options Szczur made Chicago’s Opening Day roster, which seemingly lessens the chance of a trade. Heyman also notes that the Rays “came close” to locking up right-hander Alex Cobb on an extension on multiple occasions in the past, but the deal was never quite completed. Given Cobb’s arm troubles over the past two years, perhaps that’s somewhat of a dodged bullet for the Rays (though the 29-year-old is certainly a candidate to bounce back).
- Rougned Odor’s representatives were prepping a counter-offer to the Rangers’ six-year, $49.5MM extension proposal when they were informed, firmly, that the $49.5MM sum was the team’s best and final offer, according to Heyman. Ultimately, the 22-year-old and his reps at the Beverly Hills Sports Council elected to take the deal, locking in the powerful young second baseman’s first massive payday. While there have been talks with another promising young Rangers talent, Nomar Mazara, Heyman adds that there’s “nothing substantive” between the two sides to this point.
- Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill suggested he has high hopes in comments to Heyman. He says he believes the team’s rotation is “solid” and that its pen “is the best in the league, collectively.” While some may raise an eyebrow at that statement, given the lack of name value in the Marlins’ relief corps, the Fish do have a rather deep collection of bullpen arms. As it stands, A.J. Ramos, Kyle Barraclough, Brad Ziegler, Junichi Tazawa and David Phelps make a formidable one through five in that ’pen. Also of note is the fact that the Marlins are hopeful that injured third baseman Martin Prado, who suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain in the World Baseball Classic, will be back at some point in April. The team plans to use Derek Dietrich, who hit .279/.374/.425 in 412 plate appearances last year, in Prado’s absence.
- It seems the Phillies would have carried veteran Chris Coghlan, except that he declined to sign a 45-day advance consent form. While not an oft-discussed clause, the 45-day advance consent allows a team to cut or option a healthy veteran — the clauses can only be offered to players with five or more years of service — for any reason within the first 45 days of the season. Former MLBTR scribe Zach Links (now the editor of our sister site, Pro Football Rumors) took a much deeper look at advance consent clauses back in 2014 after veteran left-hander Randy Wolf somewhat surprisingly requested his release from the Mariners when asked to agree to such a condition.
- Veteran righty Joe Nathan is still looking to latch on elsewhere after being released by the Nationals earlier this week. The former All-Star was appreciative that the Nationals allowed him to pitch once more in a game even after that decision was made, as it allowed scouts from other clubs to see him in a game setting. The 42-year-old Nathan logged a 3.86 ERA with 15 hits, three walks and nine strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings this spring. That showing comes on the heels of 6 1/3 shutout frames between the Cubs and Giants last year as well as a 2.35 ERA in 15 1/3 minor league innings. Despite his age, Nathan is attempting to reestablish himself after undergoing Tommy John surgery as a 40-year-old in 2015.