The Blue Jays had interest in right-hander Jake Odorizzi before he came off the market by accepting the Twins’ qualifying offer Thursday. Now that Odorizzi’s out of the picture for Toronto, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet lists several free-agent starters who remain on the team’s radar. They have some level of interest in Zack Wheeler, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kyle Gibson, Jordan Lyles, Tanner Roark, Michael Pineda, Wade Miley, Rick Porcello and Dallas Keuchel, according to Davidi. Of course, some of those names are more realistic than others for the rebuilding Blue Jays, whose inability to pry Odorizzi from Minnesota “shows their restraint from previous winters remains strong and steady,” Davidi argues. On the other hand, though, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet has heard from multiple agents who, in discussing their clients with the Jays early this offseason, “have noticed a change in tone compared to years past.” One thing appears certain: The team’s casting a wide net as it seeks much-needed rotation help.
- Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar was an offensive standout as a rookie in 2018, but a shoulder injury dragged down his production this year and ended his season in mid-May. However, according to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, Andujar’s adverse 2019 hasn’t diminished teams’ enthusiasm for the 24-year-old. “I’m definitely getting a lot of interest in Miguel Andujar,” Cashman revealed to Michael Kay and Don La Greca of 98.7 FM ESPN New York (audio link). That doesn’t mean the Yankees will trade Andujar, though the defensively challenged slugger has at least temporarily lost his hold on third. Cashman suggested Gio Urshela, who posted an out-of-nowhere breakout season as Andujar’s replacement, is the favorite to continue as the Yankees’ top option at the hot corner. With that in mind, the Yankees are at least considering trying to make Andujar a multi-positional player – someone who can also line up at first and/or in the outfield. Whether or not that comes to fruition, Cashman continues to regard Andujar as “an exciting young talent.”
- Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said at the beginning of October that the club’s not going to trade right-hander Noah Syndergaard this offseason. A month and a half later, Van Wagenen hasn’t changed his mind. Teams have called about Syndergaard, but Van Wagenen has rebuffed them, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports. The Mets, if they plan to contend in 2020, don’t seem to be in position to trade Syndergaard. After all, they’re already likely to lose one of their best starters in Zack Wheeler. And Syndergaard’s projected to make an affordable salary ($9.9MM) next year, which is crucial for a New York team that appears to lack financial flexibility.
- Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier has been popular in trade speculation for years, though the club has held on to him despite a logjam in the grass. Could the Yankees finally part with Frazier this winter? Ken Davidoff of the New York Post discusses Frazier’s trade value with multiple anonymous executives, who unsurprisingly opine that the 25-year-old’s appeal has dipped somewhat. Defense has been a problem for Frazier, who spent a good portion of 2019 in the minors working to improve in that area. He did, however, collect a career-high 246 MLB plate appearances in 2019 and bat an adequate .267/.317/.489 with 12 home runs. Cashman admitted Frazier “took a step backwards” in 2019, though the exec’s encouraged that Frazier has “already proven he can play in New York.”