Here’s the latest from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:
- The Dodgers and Brewers have remained in contact over a potential deal involving Ryan Braun, Cafardo reports. Last summer, the two sides reportedly engaged in serious talks about a deal involving Braun and Yasiel Puig. Trades involving big-name players don’t typically take place early in the season, although it’s worth noting that, at last check, the Dodgers were not one of the teams restricted by Braun’s no-trade clause, and that he will receive ironclad no-trade protection when he becomes a 10-and-5 player May 24.
- The Mariners could start selling talent early if they don’t improve after starting the season 3-8, Cafardo writes. Should the Mariners become sellers, I’d speculate that potential trade candidates could include Danny Valencia, Carlos Ruiz, Jarrod Dyson, Yovani Gallardo and Steve Cishek, all of whom are eligible (or potentially eligible) for free agency after this season. Players like Marc Rzepczynski, Leonys Martin and even Nelson Cruz and Jean Segura could also be subjects of speculation.
- New Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen isn’t certain about when, or whether, the team will put veterans like Zack Greinke on the market. “We haven’t tackled the long-term outlook yet,” he says. “You see what you have when you get to the June 1 marker. We’ll ask, ‘What are we looking to do to improve the club? What can we do to improve the club? Where are we at overall with our organization?’ That’s what we’re going to talk about. We’re not looking too far down the road at present.” Hazen, of course, inherited a Diamondbacks team that won 69 games last season, although it should be noted that they’re currently 7-4 and in first place in the NL West at this very early point in the year.
- The Red Sox have missed 85 player days due to illness since 2011, most in the Majors. Those 85 days cost the team approximately $3.9MM in salaries. At the start of the season, the team was dealing with a flu outbreak, leading other teams to take precautions when sharing a clubhouse or stadium with the Red Sox — the Twins asked the Tigers to fumigate their visitors’ clubhouse after following the Red Sox as guests at Comerica Park, and the Rays brought air purifiers for their series at Fenway this weekend.
- Doug Fister remains a free agent mostly because teams feel his stuff is “marginal,” and that he therefore isn’t worth the big-league deal he seeks. Colby Lewis, too, is available, and has lately only received lukewarm interest. Those pitchers could find homes if hurlers from other teams get hurt, although, at this point, Fister would almost certainly need to start the season in the minors anyway to build up to being able to make big-league starts.