The Cardinals are among the many teams pressing the Giants with interest in southpaw Will Smith, according to Mark Saxon of The Athletic (Twitter link). Another San Francisco lefty, Tony Watson, appears to be of secondary interest to the Cards, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets. Goold notes that the St. Louis club is interested in swapping slugger Jose Martinez for a lefty reliever, though it’s fair to wonder whether he’d be of much interest to the Giants.
More on the pitching market:
- There’s at least some preliminary interest from the Reds in southpaw Wade Miley, per MLB.com’s Jon Morosi (Twitter link). Given the Cincinnati organization’s need for significant rotation help, and its recent hiring of former Brewers pitching coach Derek Johnson, it’s not particularly surprising to hear of this link. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of deal the 32-year-old Miley is ultimately able to secure after an odd 2018 campaign in which he worked through injury to compile 80 2/3 innings of 2.57 ERA ball. He managed only 5.6 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 on the year, though did sport a healthy 52.8% groundball rate while allowing a stingy (but perhaps not sustainable) 0.33 homers per nine.
- Pitching appears to be a key focus of the Blue Jays this winter, with the club occupying a potentially interesting place in the market. Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports that the Toronto ballclub is considering players that’d require multi-year commitments as well as bounceback types. But GM Ross Atkins emphasizes that the club won’t be “looking for free-agent pieces with the goal of trading them,” though of course future dealmaking would always be a possibility. Meanwhile, as Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi explores, Atkins evinced an increasing openness to weighing deals for existing starters Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez in his most recent comments. While the team’s own valuation of the two talented-but-uncertain hurlers has surely not changed, Atkins suggests that rivals have shown sufficient interest that it’s worth further exploring trade scenarios. Whether any deal will come together isn’t clear, but it does seem evident that the Toronto club has gained clarity on the demand for these pitchers and that, as Davidi puts it, there’s at least a realistic path to trade outcomes.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman indicated yesterday that his club is taking a look at Japanese southpaw Yusei Kikuchi, as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. The New York powerhouse is presently engaged on other players, via trade and free agency, but Cashman says that Kikuchi is “somebody that’s worthy of having conversations about potentially landing.” Having taken a long scouting look at Kikuchi already, the Yanks surely have a price point in mind. Cashman says the team will continue to stay “very active, but disciplined” in its pursuit of pitching.
- The Mariners are another clear possibility for Kikuchi, as TJ Cotterill of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto made clear that the club both holds the Japanese hurler in high regard, calling him a “very good” starter, and is interested in trying to work out a deal. While they are taking a step back in the near-term, the M’s feel the 27-year-old “does fit our timeline,” per Dipoto.
- It seems there’s at least some interest around the game in Orioles righty Alex Cobb, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. While his early showing in Baltimore was simply brutal, Cobb did turn things around in the second half, when he held opposing hitters to a .232/.288/.377 slash and carried a 2.56 ERA in 59 2/3 innings. Of course, the $43MM still owed Cobb over the next three seasons presents quite a barrier to a deal.