The Nationals are checking over the market for starters, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (subscription required). While the team’s potential targets aren’t yet clear, Rosenthal does list two interesting options, both of whom were among the names we floated as hypothetical candidates in our review of the Nats’ offseason outlook. Gerrit Cole of the Pirates could be a name to watch on the trade market, says Rosenthal. And the Nationals are “kicking around” a pursuit of free agent Jake Arrieta, per the report. Certainly, the club’s numerous dealings with Scott Boras make that possible match one to keep an eye on. It’s certainly still possible the Nationals will go in any number of different directions in filling out their rotation, though the report does suggest the team shouldn’t be ruled out for a significant addition.
Here’s more from the National League:
- Billy Hamilton is generating the most interest of any potential Reds trade pieces, Rosenthal also reports. Hamilton, obviously, is a limited offensive player due to a lack of power and on-base skills, but his baserunning and defensive skills are among the game’s elite. If the Reds do ultimately find an offer to their liking for Hamilton — he’s arb-eligible for two more years and projected to earn $5MM next season by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz — Rosenthal writes that they’d likely sign a short-term stopgap in center field rather than play a corner option out of position.
- Both the Giants and Cardinals are now out of the running to land Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins, but their pursuits still carry some information worthy of note. In the case of San Francisco, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter links) that many of the players rumored to have been in the teams’ agreed-upon trade package were not, in fact, slated to be moved. None of Joe Panik, Tyler Beede, Chris Shaw, Heliot Ramos, and Christian Arroyo would have been dealt, per the report. Meanwhile, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets that the Cards would have absorbed about $250MM of the $295MM still owed to Stanton.
- Brewers GM David Stearns chatted with the team’s beat writers, including Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, in advance of the Winter Meetings. Regarding the team’s rotation needs, Stearns says that the organization’s “market and history” under his stewardship are “a better indicator of the types of moves we’re seeking than some of the external speculation.” That seemingly hints that the organization won’t be chasing high-end free agents, though perhaps some of the top pitchers could still be considered in the right circumstances. He noted that lefty Josh Hader could yet end up “in a multi-inning relief role, similar to last year, or a more conventional starter role.” While the team wants to ensure Hader is able to “accumulate innings,” its winter moves could dictate his precise usage. Generally, Stearns said the club has many talks at various stages of development, though nothing that is nearing completion as of this particular moment.