Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reported on a few items of note in his latest column and has followed up with some additional bits of information. We’ll run down some of the key takeaways here:
- While the Blue Jays have been quiet thus far, Heyman says they could be lurking on a few interesting names. In the outfield, J.D. Martinez is a legitimate target, he says, as are Carlos Gonzalez and Lorenzo Cain. The club is also considering quality utility options such as Eduardo Nunez and Howie Kendrick. Meanwhile, Toronto has reached out to the Padres on Brad Hand, who’s a highly valuable relief asset. It remains to be seen whether the Jays will be willing to pony up a lot of cash or prospect assets to make a significant win-now move, but it’s notable that the team is at least exploring some notable possibilities.
- The Diamondbacks reportedly had real interest in Orioles infielder Manny Machado, but Heyman says the Snakes were not willing to consider moving third bagger Jake Lamb in a deal. That’s not terribly surprising; after all, the 27-year-old Lamb has only just reached arbitration eligibility and posted consecutive solid campaigns in which he has maintained a composite .248/.345/.498 batting line. Though he’s clearly an inferior overall player to Machado, Lamb is the type of affordable, quality regular that a team with Arizona’s payroll can ill afford to part with.
- Thus far, free agent righty Alex Cobb “is thought to have been asking for about $20 million a year,” Heyman writes, noting that his agents may view Mike Leake as a comp. Of course, Cobb is older and less durable than Leake was when he hit the open market, though Cobb also has a loftier established ceiling on the mound (at least, dating to his output before undergoing Tommy John surgery).
- There’s some interest from rival organizations in Mets center fielder Juan Lagares, Heyman reports on Twitter. Of course, it’s far from clear that the New York organization has real interest in dealing away the 28-year-old. To the contrary, indications to date have been that the Mets expect to utilize Lagares quite heavily. The rangy defender last topped 400 plate appearances in 2015 and has not posted a league-average season with the bat since the season before that.
- The Marlins are still indicating to rivals that they’re not particularly interested in dealing Christian Yelich or J.T. Realmuto, Heyman tweets, though of course that could yet be a bargaining stance. Notably, though, the Fish are said to be seeking ways of parting with the recently acquired contract of Starlin Castro. Though Miami executive Gary Denbo indicated earlier today the club intends to keep Castro, it certainly would not be surprising for Miami to strike a deal if it means shedding yet more salary obligations to a player who likely won’t be a part of the organization’s next contending roster.