The latest on a pair of NL Central clubs:
- The Brewers remain in discussions with free agent right-hander Yu Darvish, Robert Murray and Jon Heyman of FanRag report. A deal isn’t necessarily imminent, though, they suggest. Milwaukee reportedly made Darvish a contract offer a week and a half ago, and the playoff-hopeful club has since added quality pieces to its roster in Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich and Matt Albers. On the heels of the Cain and Yelich pickups, owner Mark Attanasio indicated last weekend that general manager David Stearns has been working to bolster the team’s starting staff, and he added that the Brewers have the payroll flexibility to acquire a big-time free agent. Darvish certainly fits the bill as arguably the premier player on the open market.
- Even after signing Albers, Boone Logan and J.J. Hoover this offseason, the Brewers may not be done strengthening their bullpen, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). They haven’t allocated much money to the group, pulling in Albers and Logan for a combined $7.5MM in guarantees and only handing Hoover a minor league deal. Their relief corps was actually among the majors’ most effective last year (seventh in K/9, tied for eighth in ERA), though Anthony Swarzak and Jared Hughes have since signed elsewhere.
- The division-rival Reds, meanwhile, have addressed their bullpen this offseason by signing Hughes and David Hernandez. After landing Hernandez today, they’re probably done making additions to their big league roster, GM Dick Williams told Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer and other reporters (Twitter link). The Reds are likely to turn to minor league signing Phil Gosselin as their backup shortstop, Williams added.