The Brewers, searching for starters, relievers and a second baseman, spoke with the Royals about their available players at the Winter Meetings, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported earlier this week (on Twitter). It’s unclear whether those discussions actually led anywhere, however. Speculatively, considering the Brewers’ needs, talks could have involved anyone from a group consisting of Royals starters Danny Duffy and Jason Hammel, relievers Kelvin Herrera, Joakim Soria and Scott Alexander, and second baseman Whit Merrifield. All six of those players have been part of the rumor mill this month.
- The Cardinals typically prefer to acquire controllable players, notes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis-Post Dispatch, though “it remains possible” the win-now club will swing a deal for one year of Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson or the Orioles’ Manny Machado. The Redbirds and Blue Jays continue to discuss Donaldson, according to Goold, but he’s the latest to point out that the Jays don’t seem motivated to move him.
- While the Cubs “are kicking the tires of every free-agent starter” as they look for a top-of-the-rotation arm, they’re unwilling to meet any of their asking prices as of now, Bob Nightengale of USA Today relays (Twitter link). Of the best starters available – Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn – the latter is the only one who hasn’t drawn reported interest from the Cubs this offseason. Although, one could infer from Nightengale’s tweet that the Cubs have at least given the longtime Cardinal some consideration.
- Speaking of the Cubs’ pitching search, they were in the thick of the Shohei Ohtani derby earlier this month before he signed with the Angels. Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks told Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago that he was involved in the team’s recruiting pitch to Ohtani. The Cubs had Hendricks join them in their Los Angeles meeting with Ohtani because his low-key demeanor is similar to the Japanese superstar’s, per Levine. “It was very humbling and pretty cool to be invited,” Hendricks said. “It was great to be in the room and see the process. He is such a great talent, and it was enjoyable to see what type of guy he is — very down to earth and a humble guy. Even with the language barrier, Theo let me know what his personality was like. He was all baseball all of the time. We have some similarities, so it was fun to go there and talk baseball with him.”