The latest on a few American League clubs…
- The Athletics have come up as a speculative fit for free-agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, but the two sides haven’t spoken to this point, Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets. If signed, Tulowitzki could be a factor at the keystone for Oakland, which may see starting second baseman Jed Lowrie depart in free agency. As of now, it appears “unlikely” the Athletics will re-sign Lowrie, Jane Lee of MLB.com writes. Lowrie would be a tough loss for the A’s, considering he was one of the majors’ most valuable second basemen from 2017-18.
- Meanwhile, despite potentially losing Tony Sipp in free agency, the division-rival Astros aren’t likely to shop at the top of the market for left-handed relievers, per Jake Kaplan of The Athletic (subscription required). Rather, the Astros seem “comfortable” with a pair of in-house southpaws – Framber Valdez and Cionel Perez – as well as a cast of righty relievers who are capable of getting lefty hitters out. It’s not clear whether Brad Peacock will remain among that group of righties in 2019, though, as Kaplan relays that he’ll enter spring training as a starter. Peacock made 21 starts two years ago, but that number plummeted to one in 2018, when he came out of the Astros’ bullpen 60 times.
- The Red Sox lost Joe Kelly to the Dodgers in free agency and are also in danger of bidding adieu to Craig Kimbrel, but it doesn’t seem they’re urgently searching for relief help. Instead, the reigning World Series champions are planning to “wait out” the market until a reliever falls to them for a palatable cost, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. That makes it seem even less likely they’ll re-sign Kimbrel, whose reported asking price is exorbitant, though Drellich hasn’t closed the door on the two sides continuing their union.
- Although they’re in a rebuild, the Orioles are “open to taking on a salary” in order to acquire outfield help, according to Joe Trezza of MLB.com. The O’s sought outfielders throughout the Winter Meetings, Trezza adds. With 0.1 fWAR, the team’s outfield finished 29th in the majors in that department last season, and its best regular – Adam Jones, who was below average in his own right – is now a free agent.