The Reds are amid “serious discussions” with free agent reliever David Hernandez, though an agreement isn’t imminent, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Cincy isn’t the only team after the right-handed Hernandez, per Buchanan, who notes that the Reds are also interested in other free agent relievers and aren’t necessarily limiting themselves to one-year deals as they look to improve their bullpen. On the heels of a strong 2017, Hernandez is seeking a multiyear pact, according to Buchanan. The recipient of a minor league contract last offseason, the 32-year-old Hernandez went on to toss 55 innings of 3.11 ERA ball and notch 8.51 K/9 against 1.47 BB/9 with the Angels and Diamondbacks.
More on a couple of Cincinnati’s division rivals:
- The Cubs and third baseman Kris Bryant haven’t engaged in long-term extension talks this winter, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein told Patrick Mooney of The Athletic on Friday (subscription required/highly recommended). The two sides avoided arbitration Friday when Bryant agreed to a $10.85MM salary – a record amount for a first-time arb-eligible player. While Bryant won’t become a free agent for at least four seasons, Nationals superstar right fielder Bryce Harper could hit the market next winter. If Harper does become a free agent, Bryant informed Mooney he “would love” for the Cubs to sign him. The two have been close friends since childhood, which could help the Cubs if they attempt to recruit Harper.
- The Cardinals’ current plan for their 2018 bullpen includes deploying the newly signed Luke Gregerson as their closer, president John Mozeliak told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other reporters on Saturday (Twitter link). They also plan to heavily rely on left-hander Tyler Lyons and get contributions from righty prospects Jordan Hicks and Ryan Helsley. Of course, with the season still a couple months away, the Cards could pick up another established reliever(s) to swipe Gregerson’s ninth-inning role in the coming weeks. They’ve been linked to the likes of Alex Colome and Addison Reed this offseason, though the latter came off the board Saturday when he agreed to join the Twins.
- In another tweet, Goold relays that the Cardinals turned their attention to Rays righty Chris Archer and third baseman Evan Longoria after acquiring outfielder Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins last month. The talks between the two sides “weren’t fruitful,” Goold writes. Longoria is now out of play, having gone to the Giants in a late-December deal, though Archer remains one of the Rays’ prime trade candidates.