Third base help is reportedly atop the Padres’ wish list, and the Yankees’ Miguel Andujar is among their targets, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred. The Padres “love” the 23-year-old, per Heyman, but it’s unclear whether they’ve made a legitimate attempt to acquire him. Although he turned in a near-AL Rookie of the Year season in 2018, in which he slashed .297/.328/.527 with 27 home runs in 606 plate appearances, Andujar struggled mightily as a defender. While Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has consistently praised Andujar and brushed off concerns about his defense, the player has nonetheless been a prominent part of the rumor mill this winter. If the Yankees do move Andujar, whom they could replace with free-agent superstar Manny Machado, it’s fair to surmise it’ll be for a player(s) capable of immediately upgrading the title contenders’ roster.
Here’s more from Heyman’s latest smorgasbord of notes:
- Free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel was reportedly seeking a $100MM-plus contract as of earlier this month, though it’s “believed” he has dropped his price, Heyman writes. According to Heyman, the 30-year-old Kimbrel has gone down to $86MM – the same value of the five-year deal the Yankees gave Aroldis Chapman in 2016. Chapman’s contract remains the richest ever for a reliever, and given Kimbrel’s production to date, it’s unsurprising he’s aiming to match or exceed it. Also unsurprising: Kimbrel’s price is still too rich for the Red Sox’s blood, Heyman hears, suggesting they may be willing to go to four years and $60MM to $70MM.
- The Reds made right-hander Lance Lynn an offer when he was on the market, Heyman relays. However, they didn’t come close to signing Lynn, who joined the Rangers on a three-year, $30MM guarantee on Dec. 18. The Reds addressed their rotation prior to then by acquiring Tanner Roark from the Nationals and did so again Friday, picking up Alex Wood from the Dodgers. The club has also pursued Yankees righty Sonny Gray this offseason, but New York’s seeking Double-A and Triple-A pitchers Cincinnati doesn’t want to trade, per Heyman. Meanwhile, in Cincy’s talks with Miami regarding star catcher J.T. Realmuto, Heyman writes that the Marlins’ focus has been on Nick Senzel, Taylor Trammell, Hunter Greene and Jonathan India – the Reds’ top four prospects at MLB.com.
- Mets righty Seth Lugo has changed representation and hired the Ballengee Group, Heyman reports. The 29-year-old Lugo, who won’t be eligible for arbitration until next winter, was a rare bright spot for the Mets’ bullpen in 2018. Across 101 1/3 innings (78 1/3 in relief), Lugo managed a 2.66 ERA with 9.15 K/9, 2.49 BB/9 and a 46.5 percent groundball rate.