Right-handers Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn entered the offseason regarded by many as the third- and fourth-best options on the starting pitching market (in varying order) behind fellow righties Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta. And like virtually every other free agent (relievers aside), they’re still struggling to find teams willing to meet their asking prices. FanRag’s Jon Heyman reports in his latest notes column that one GM tells him Cobb is still seeking a contract of four to five years in length at an annual rate of $15MM or more. (Presumably, Cobb’s camp would want a higher annual value on the shorter pact.) Lynn, meanwhile, is believed to be seeking a “at least four years” at $15MM+ annually. The Brewers, according to Heyman, are monitoring the free-agent market with an opportunistic eye and believe both Cobb and Lynn to be more plausible targets for them than the more expensive Arrieta. MLBTR recently penned Free Agent Profiles on both Cobb and Lynn, taking a lengthier look at each right-hander’s strengths, weaknesses, market and earning capacity.
A bit more from around the league as players, agents, media and fans all await… well, anything:
- Also via Heyman, Eduardo Nunez is seeing his market “heat up” a bit. There are as many as eight teams that have shown interest in Nunez of late, including the Mets, Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Giants, Braves, Brewers and Royals. (Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area recently suggested that a reunion with San Francisco wasn’t likely, implying that Nunez can receive superior offers elsewhere.) Heyman joins others that have recently reported that Nunez is on the Mets’ radar as a second base option. The Yankees, Red Sox, Braves and Brewers all make varying degrees of sense as well, though it’s tougher to see a clear fit with the Jays, Giants and Royals for various reasons. Toronto has already added Aledmys Diaz and Yangervis Solarte this winter (with Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis both still on board as well), while the Giants picked up Evan Longoria and are reportedly striving to remain under the luxury tax threshold. Nunez would almost certainly put them over, as they’re within less than $5MM of that point at present. As for the Royals, they could use a versatile infielder, but they’re also gearing up for a rebuild.
- Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald takes a look at the latest on Christian Yelich’s trade market, reporting that the Marlins have informed Yelich’s camp that they’ll entertain offers on him but are not making any promises of a trade. Miami has made its asking price on Yelich a bit more realistic in recent weeks, other teams tell Jackson, but they’re still seeking top-tier talent and looking for multiple prospects from the top 10 of potential trading partners (as one would expect). Both Jackson and Heyman (in a separate article on Yelich) suggest that the Marlins are eyeing talent that is in Double-A and Triple-A, as opposed to high-upside talent that is further down the minor league pipeline. Both reports confirm that the Marlins did indeed ask the Braves about Ronald Acuna (as MLB Network’s Peter Gammons previously reported), only to be rebuffed.
- If no offers from MLB teams materialize for Ichiro Suzuki, it seems as though he’ll have the opportunity to continue his playing career in Japan. Both the Chunichi Dragons and the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball have already shown some interest, according to reports from the Kyodo News and reports from Japanese media outlets including Sponichi and Nikkan Sports. MLB.com’s Barry Bloom recently spoke with Ichiro’s agent, John Boggs, about his market this offseason, with Boggs stating that he still had hope of an offer from an MLB team eventually surfacing.