Some of the same teams to have looked into other free agent first basemen — the Red Sox, Angels, and Mariners — have each contacted Lucas Duda as well, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). While he is arguably best served as a platoon option, it’s worth noting that Duda has generally been quite a productive offensive player and could represent a more affordable target than some other sluggers. The 31-year-old could turn into an excellent value if he’s able to approach the kind of output he sustained from 2014-15 and also demonstrated in the first half of the 2017 campaign.
Here are some more notes on free agents:
- Righty Chris Tillman will pursue a one-year deal, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). That’s a sensible strategy for a hurler that had been on track for a nice, multi-year deal before a disastrous 2017 campaign. Tillman, who is still just 29 years of age, dealt with shoulder problems and stumbled to a 7.84 ERA over 93 frames. Still, he seems like a prime target for organizations that need innings and can afford to roll the dice a bit.
- Veteran outfielder Melvin Upton intends to play in 2018, agent Larry Reynolds tells MLB.com’s Jon Morosi (Twitter link). The 33-year-old appeared briefly at Triple-A last year but missed most of the season due to injury. He had enjoyed a renaissance with the Padres in 2015-16 before scuffling upon a mid-season trade to the Blue Jays. It’s certainly possible to imagine an organization giving him a shot at earning a bench role in camp.
- The Orioles and Braves are interested in righty Peter Moylan, per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (via Twitter). Moylan, a 38-year-old Aussie, has befuddled hitters for three years running, compiling a 3.46 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 over his past 114 1/3 innings since beginning an unlikely comeback. Moylan had signed with the Braves as a minor-league player/coach in 2015; he has excelled all the more since going to the Royals for the ensuing season and led the American League in appearances in 2017. While clubhouse presence is a factor that’s difficult to assess from the outside, Moylan also promises to make a tangible off-field contribution to whatever team lands him.
- There’s some interest on the market for former Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario, per ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). Still just 28 years of age, Rosario has starred as a first baseman for Korea’s Hanwha Eagles over the past two seasons. In over one thousand trips to the plate in the KBO, Rosario owns a .330/.390/.625 slash with 70 home runs and just 151 strikeouts. His market will surely be limited since he’s evidently no longer a real option behind the dish, but the power has always been tantalizing and he ought to be worthy of an opportunity in Spring Training, at the least.