In his column today on the molasses-slow free agent market, Bob Nightengale of USA Today drops a few nuggets of information. The Padres’ offer to free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer would promise him seven years, says Nightengale. Meanwhile, top open-market slugger J.D. Martinez is sitting on a five-year offer from the Red Sox. In other chatter, Nightengale suggests the Cubs could be willing to go as high as $110MM over four years to bring back Jake Arrieta. Of course, the teams and players just cited have likely known one another’s positions for some time now, and these stalemates have yet to be resolved. These details also fall in line with what has been reported previously about the respective situations, though they are surely interesting data points as we seek to divine when and how the free agent dam will finally break.
More on the open market:
- The Cardinals still seemingly have a wide array of potential targets as they aim to continue adding bats to their lineup (among other possibilities for improvement). Per Jon Morosi of MLB.com, via Twitter, the Cards shouldn’t be counted out on Hosmer. According to the report, St. Louis “remain[s] involved” on the first bagger, with Morosi noting the club could conceivably then bump Matt Carpenter to third base. From an outside perspective, that still seems like a hefty investment for the potential reward, particularly since the organization decided just last year to shift Carpenter across the diamond — in part, at least, to improve the defensive situation at third. With Jedd Gyorko coming off of a strong two-way campaign at the hot corner, Kolten Wong still occupying second, and a pair of young options on hand at first (Jose Martinez and Luke Voit), there are some other components at play here for the Cards. Presumably, the addition of Hosmer would mean a trade involving one or more of those existing players.
- Some down-market free agent starters may still be waiting to see what happens up top. Per Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, via Twitter, the Twins are giving the “sense” to the reps of some hurlers that they want to see what happens with Yu Darvish before pursuing next-tier hurlers such as Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn. That said, as Nightengale also notes, Darvish (like Arrieta) is still waiting to see if he can secure a sixth or even seventh guaranteed season. No doubt some possible trade situations are also contributing to the stasis; as ever, some player or some team may need to blink before things get flowing.
- Lefty reliever Fernando Abad has drawn some interest from multiple organizations, per Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio (via Twitter). Mish lists a few plausible fits, in his view, though it’s not clear which particular teams have actually reached out. Abad was among the hurlers who we cited yesterday as a reliever of note on a market that has already lost many of its biggest names. He was fairly effective last year, though most of his work came in low-leverage spots. It’s possible to imagine Abad lining up with quite a few organizations, though some will undoubtedly be interested primarily in a non-roster deal.