The Nationals already seemed like a possible ongoing pursuer of starting pitching before trading away Tanner Roark; now, it’s all but inevitable that the club will add another new arm. Veteran free agents Wade Miley and Anibal Sanchez are both on the Nats’ radar, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter links), though it’s not clear whether either is particularly likely to land in D.C. Both hurlers turned in excellent results in 2018 after overcoming injuries, with the latter relying on his ability to induce groundballs and the latter finally overcoming his home run woes. Sustainability remains a question, of course, as each has had his share of struggles in seasons prior.
- Whether the Nats will also be exploring higher-end pitching options isn’t yet fully clear, but president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo did say today that the club is performing “due diligence” on Japanese hurler Yusei Kikuchi, as Pete Kerzel of MASNsports.com tweets. Given the wide interest that the 27-year-old has drawn to this point, it seems safe to assume the Nationals are at least open to making another significant rotation addition this winter.
- It’s still far too soon to know how the market will develop for Kikuchi, but we keep hearing of teams that wish to be involved to some degree. The Blue Jays intend to sit down with the 27-year-old lefty, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (via Twitter), adding another organization. Though the Toronto club in no way profiles as a 2019 contender — most of the talk has surrounded its possible marketing of its own pitching — it surely has designs on a fairly quick bounce back and may view Kikuchi as a nice target to provide some good innings both now and in the future.
- White Sox GM Rick Hahn says he’s not likely to add a significant starter via free agency (via James Fegan of The Athletic, on Twitter), but that evidently won’t stop him from checking in at the top of the market for relievers. The Chicago organization has “shown interest” in veteran hurler Adam Ottavino, MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reports on Twitter. It’ll likely cost a pretty penny to reel in the talented right-hander, who is also a clear target for more obvious contenders, though perhaps the White Sox will plan to offer him and others a chance to work as the closer.
- It seems the Athletics are contemplating another bullpen buildout after succeeding with that strategy in 2018. Rosenthal tweets that the organization is interested in a reunion with Jeurys Familia, who certainly also ought to draw quite a few hits from other teams, particularly since he only just turned 29. While the rotation is an obvious need in Oakland, Rosenthal says it’s one that’s likelier to be met at a later point in the offseason — with “inexpensive” arms. It sounds as if the A’s won’t be driving the market on any of their top free agent targets. The search for diamonds in the rough paid out handsomely last winter, but hitting it rich again will surely be a challenge.