We checked in on the American League earlier Thursday evening. Here’s even more from the Junior Circuit:
- Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto pulled off his latest blockbuster trade Thursday, though he did it from a hospital bed. It turns out Dipoto was dealing with “severe chest pains” stemming from blood clots in his lungs, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Fortunately, Dipoto was released from a Las Vegas-area hospital Thursday afternoon and cleared to fly back to Seattle. “It was pretty scary and quite painful stuff,” Dipoto told Johns via text. “I’m thankful to know there’s an issue while we can manage it.” MLBTR joins those around the game in wishing the always entertaining Dipoto a speedy recovery.
- Along with the previously reported Adam Ottavino, the Yankees met with free-agent reliever Andrew Miller’s camp during the Winter Meetings, according to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. In his previous trip to free agency, back in 2014, Miller signed with the Yankees on a four-year, $36MM contract. Miller then proceeded to dominate out of New York’s bullpen until the team traded him to Cleveland in July 2016. While Miller continued to post elite production through 2017, he looked like a mere mortal last season during an injury-shortened campaign. Still, MLBTR expects the 33-year-old to pull in another lofty payday this winter. Perhaps he’ll return to his old stomping grounds in the Bronx to get it.
- The Athletics and free-agent catcher Jonathan Lucroy “appear to be at a salary impasse,” Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Lucroy spent last season in Oakland after inking a one-year, $6.5MM deal in mid-March, and though the former star drew rave reviews from his teammates, he didn’t acquit himself well statistically. The 32-year-old batted a career-worst .241/.291/.325 (70 wRC+) in 454 plate appearances and, among hitters with at least 450 PAs, recorded the majors’ fifth-lowest ISO (.084). The once-marvelous defender also struggled behind the plate.
- Turning to the Athletics’ pursuit of rotation help, Slusser hears that they’re “bottom feeders” on the pitching market, though she points out that they’re known for exercising patience and finding diamonds in the rough. The team’s not averse to doling out multiyear deals for free-agent pitchers, per GM David Forst. On the trade front, Slusser casts doubt on a potential Sonny Gray-Athletics reunion, reporting that the Yankees’ asking price for him is currently too lofty for the A’s liking.
- Reliever Joe Kelly agreed to a three-year, $25MM deal with the Dodgers on Thursday, but his previous employer in Boston didn’t make a particularly competitive offer to retain him, Rob Bradford of WEEI suggests. Not only did the Red Sox only propose a two-year contract, but the average annual value likely didn’t match what the Dodgers will give Kelly, according to Bradford. That jibes with a previous report suggesting the Red Sox are waiting for relievers’ prices to drop before committing to anyone.