The Cardinals are one of the teams interested in free agent closer Wade Davis, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports (Twitter link). With St. Louis focusing on bullpen additions this winter, it only makes sense that they would check in on top-of-the-market names like Davis who could immediately step into the vacant closer role. In fact, Passan said the Cards are “prioritizing late-inning help” to go along with their other notable relief signing of Luke Gregerson. The Cardinals have been heavy players in the offseason rumor mill, connected to several big names on both the free agent and trade fronts, and GM Michael Girsch is “optimistic” (per MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch) that the team is close to swinging a deal after progress was reportedly made in trade talks.
More from the NL Central…
- The Cardinals’ Winter Meetings activities have also included talks with the Blue Jays about a Josh Donaldson deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link). St. Louis has been rumored to be interested in Donaldson for some time, though there is still no indication that the Jays are considering moving the former AL MVP.
- Domingo Santana’s name has been mentioned in trade talks, with Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporting that the Brewers are actively shopping the outfielder rather than just listening to offers. ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick hears from one executive that the Brewers are trying to “sell high” on Santana, and that the market for his services isn’t as active as the Crew had hoped. Crasnick has heard “mixed reviews” on Santana’s potential, as while he enjoyed a good 2017 season, teams aren’t enamored with his strikeouts, defense, and his soon-to-be growing price tag in arbitration. (Both links to Twitter)
- Brewers GM David Stearns told reporters (including Haudricourt and MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy) that the team is waiting to hear on offers it has extended to multiple free agents. Pitching is Milwaukee’s focus this winter, so Haudricourt assumes that the Brewers have made offers to at least a few arms. Stearns also added that the Brew Crew are willing to explore both signings and trades, and talks continue on the latter front.
- In two more tweets from Haudricourt, he mentions that the Brewers and Pirates were in talks today. With Milwaukee looking for pitching and second base help, Haudricourt speculates that Gerrit Cole or Josh Harrison could have been topics of discussion between the two division rivals.
- The Orioles are another team that has expressed in interest in Cole, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. It still isn’t clear whether the Pirates are actually seriously considering moving Cole, though ESPN’s Buster Olney hears from industry evaluators that the Bucs are prepared to move Cole for the right offer. Teams like the Yankees, Rangers, and Twins have all checked in to gauge Pittsburgh’s intentions. Cole would be a sorely-needed upgrade to Baltimore’s struggling rotation, though the O’s don’t have a particularly deep minor league system from which to deal.
- The Giants made a “semi” strong trade offer to the Reds for Billy Hamilton, a source tells MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, though it doesn’t look like anything is close to being completed.