The Diamondbacks are “aggressively shopping” righty Zack Greinke, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). With $95.5MM of salary still due over the next three years, he’s an expensive option. But the deal is at least cabined in length, and the Snakes have a good shot at getting out from under most of it. (Alternatively, the club might be able to pay down a larger portion and recoup some talent in a swap — or go in the other direction and include additional talent to make the whole contract go away.) It’s still largely unclear how things will shake out, but the fact that the Arizona organization is looking for a taker certainly makes a trade seem quite plausible.
Here’s the latest chatter on the rest of the market:
- It is a testament to veteran backstop Kurt Suzuki that he has been re-signed, re-acquired, or extended by three of the four organizations he has played for. One of those, the Athletics, could have designs on a third stint. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, there has already been some discussion between the Oakland club and the 35-year-old free agent. Suzuki has never been more productive at the plate than he was over the past two years with the Braves, when he turned in a cumulative .276/.341/.485 slash with 31 home runs in 697 plate appearances. Slusser also notes that reliever Shawn Kelley remains a possibility to return, with four other teams also inquiring about securing his services.
- Nathan Eovaldi’s health is a major factor in his free agency. Though he’s only 28 years of age, the righty has undergone a pair of Tommy John surgeries and required another elbow procedure before making it back to the mound in 2018. Of course, the results were quite promising, and he has now also received a strong endorsement from his surgeon today, as Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Dr. Christopher Ahmad says that, after conducting an extensive examination, he “would consider [Eovaldi] in the same category of somebody who has a healthy arm.” While any signing team will want to take a look for itself, it’s obviously quite a notable opinion to receive at the outset of free agency.
- The Reds would surely love to land Eovaldi or another higher-end arm, though it’s still questionable whether they’ll dabble in that end of the market. What is clear, president of baseball operations Dick Williams said in a radio interview, is that the club hopes to find a pair of new pitchers — likely starters (via Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer). Getting the right arms won’t just mean waiting to see what shakes loose at a cheap price, says Williams. Rather, the club intends “to be in front of these agents and these other teams talking more aggressively.” Sure enough, Jon Heyman of Fancred says the Reds have engaged with the Mariners (James Paxton), Indians (Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco), and Yankees (Sonny Gray). With the Cinci org said to be hesitant to move its best assets, getting the desired arms could mean exploring some creative trades. That said, Williams shot down recent chatter surrounding purported Padres interest in star Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez. “Just to sort of nip that in the bud, I’ll tell you that rumor is unfounded,” said Williams.
- It’s also clear that the Nationals are on the lookout for starters, though here also it’s hard to know just where the team may focus. As I discussed recently in setting forth the team’s outlook for the 2018-19 offseason, there are an abundance of possibilities at this point. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post provides some insight into the club’s thinking while ticking through the options. She notes that the Nats “think highly” of free agent Dallas Keuchel — the match we predicted when we broke down our Top 50 Free Agents. That’s not to say, of course, that he’s a uniquely clear fit in D.C. As Janes explains, the organization still seems likely to canvass the market, though it seems reasonable to anticipate that it’ll come away with at least one significant new hurler.
- Staying in the division, it’s worth looking back at a post we missed at the time. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported recently that the Phillies are quite likely to deal away third baseman Maikel Franco. Indeed, it seems there’s a reasonable match already under contemplation with the Padres. Of course as noted above, the Friars clearly are interested in looking around the rest of the market before pulling the trigger on a deal for Franco. The Phils are also said to be willing to discuss Cesar Hernandez, though he seems much less likely to be shipped out. It’ll be interesting to see how everything will unfold in Philadelphia, as the team is known to be chasing some of the biggest names on the market but also has some less consequential moves that it could contemplate pulling off first.