Before agreeing to a deal with the Cardinals, Luke Gregerson also received an offer from the Cubs, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Chicago has already landed Brandon Morrow and has been aggressively looking at several other relief options this winter, so it isn’t surprising that Gregerson was yet another name on their list of targets. The Cardinals are also continuing to scour the reliever market, though Goold reports that they didn’t have interest in veteran Pat Neshek, who has agreed to a new deal with the Phillies.
Here’s more from around the NL Central…
- In another piece from Goold, Cardinals president of baseball ops John Mozeliak discussed his team’s first day at the Winter Meetings, saying that he mostly focused on trade talks, including in-person meetings with two unnamed teams. The Cards are known to be shopping their outfield surplus, with Goold writing that the team is looking for a two-for-one outfielder swap to gain an everyday bat.
- Eugenio Suarez would want an extension of at least six years and worth more than $45MM in guaranteed money, a source tells Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Suarez is just entering his first of three arbitration-eligible seasons (MLBTR projects him for a $4.4MM salary in 2018), so given the timing and his strong 2017 season, he stands out as a potential long-term piece for the Reds. A six-year deal wouldn’t necessarily be an issue for the club, Buchanan writes, though the source feels the Reds’ stance in contract talks will focus on Suarez gaining financial security for his family now rather than risk an injury or drop in performance. There’s also the possibility that Cincy could look to trade Suarez if an extension can’t be worked out, though Buchanan doubts a trade would happen this winter.
- The Reds are currently more focused on adding relievers than starters, president of baseball operations Dick Williams told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon and other reporters. “I do think we’ll find some good pitching and spend some money just to supplement the pitching a little bit,” Williams said. “Ideally, we’d maintain some flexibility there as to how guys are used. We think we have more starting pitching, guys that have the ability to stick as starters.”
- While the Pirates are on the lookout for left-handed relievers, GM Neal Huntington suggested to reporters (including Elizabeth Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) that the club could also fill that need internally in the form of Steven Brault. The Bucs could explore using Brault or other starters that don’t win rotation jobs in the pen, with Brault perhaps capable of either a LOOGY specialist role or a multi-inning role. While adding a southpaw reliever would be a “perfect world” result for the team, Huntington said any type of quality reliever would do: “we’d rather have a good right-hander than a mediocre left-hander.”