Here are some hot stove-related items from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (subscription required and recommended)…
- The Nationals have interest in free agent righty Lance Lynn, though a signing would further put the team over the luxury tax threshold. Washington has been circling the starting pitching market all winter, with Jake Arrieta standing out as the top-tier name most often mentioned as a possibility due to the well-documented relationship between Nats ownership and Scott Boras (Arrieta’s agent). Arrieta, however, would be a considerably pricier signing than Lynn, though Lynn wouldn’t be cheap himself; MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes projects Lynn for four years and $60MM.
- Alex Cobb isn’t looking for a $20MM average annual value in his next contract, according to “officials on both sides of the Cubs’ negotiations with” the free agent right-hander. Reports that this inflated asking price spurred the Cubs’ interest in Yu Darvish as an alternative to Cobb are also not accurate, as per these same officials.
- The Orioles recently met with Andrew Cashner and his representatives. Baltimore’s interest in Cashner dates back to at least the start of the offseason, and the O’s are still in sore need of arms to bolster their weak rotation. There hasn’t been a ton of buzz about Cashner on the rumor mill, though he is still reportedly looking for a three-year deal and there seems to be at least some interest between Cashner and the Rangers.
- The Athletics also had interest in Joakim Soria before the Royals dealt him to the White Sox earlier this week. Soria would’ve given the A’s extra closing depth behind Blake Treinen, and Oakland could also have potentially looked to move Soria at the trade deadline. The A’s have already made two notable additions (Yusmeiro Petit and Emilio Pagan) to their bullpen mix this winter, and it stands to reason that they could still be looking for more veteran relief help after missing out on Soria.
- Teams continue to ask the Marlins about Justin Bour, though the club wasn’t listening to offers about the first baseman during the Winter Meetings. Bour is one of Miami’s more intriguing long-term assets, just entering his arbitration years and coming off a season that saw him his .289/.366/.536 with 25 homers in 429 plate appearances. Bour’s age (he turns 3o in May) and the amount of depth at the first base position makes Bour a less-valuable trade chip for Miami than Christian Yelich or J.T. Realmuto, though obviously the Fish would still garner a lot of interest in Bour if they made him available.
- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said the Sox “are not looking to move” Blake Swihart, despite trade interest from other teams. The last two seasons were essentially a writeoff for Swihart, due to defensive issues behind the plate and ankle injuries that limited him to just 91 minor league games and 25 MLB games in 2016-17. Still, the Sox haven’t given up on the former top prospect, with Dombrowski noting that Swihart’s positional versatility has helped add to his value for the team. While Dombrowski noted that “you could never say you would not move him or anyone else,” Swihart is “still part of our plans….Sometimes you get stuck with players who are out of options. In this case, because of his flexibility, I think we’ve got a little better chance of getting through it.”