Notes on some prominent names on the open market…
- We heard earlier today about Shogo Akiyama’s camp meeting with the Cubs and Diamondbacks, and 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine (Twitter link) adds that Akiyama and company also spoke with the Rays and Reds. Contracts in the range of $8MM-$10MM over two years were discussed — this is a step up from MLBTR’s prediction of a two-year, $6MM deal, though Akiyama’s higher ask could reflect the level of interest in his services, not to mention this offseason’s thin center field market.
- Rich Hill has been in touch with multiple teams, the veteran lefty tells The Athletic’s Andy McCullough (subscription required), including his top two choices of the Dodgers and Red Sox, as well as “a whole bunch of other teams that are going to be contenders in 2020.” Though Hill won’t be able to pitch until midseason due to primary revision surgery on his UCL, he is “definitely not opposed to signing now. I think that does give the opportunity for the team, to be honest, to benefit from my experience as a whole. You’ve got a guy who comes into Spring Training as a veteran, and can help younger guys out.” Despite numerous injuries in recent years, Hill has been borderline elite when he has been able to take the mound, posting a 2.91 ERA, 3.79 K/BB rate, and 10.7 K/9 over 466 1/3 innings since the start of the 2015 season.
- The Red Sox have some interest in Sergio Romo, though they “don’t seem to be the most aggressive suitor” for the veteran reliever, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo writes (Twitter link). The Athletics, Marlins, and Twins have all been linked to Romo’s market this offseason, and there was some belief last week that he could sign his new deal before the end of the Winter Meetings.
- Left-hander Kwang-Hyun Kim “is believed to be seeking a three-year deal,” according to Jeff Sanders and Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. It seems like something of a bold ask from a 31-year-old pitcher who is coming to the big leagues for the first time, especially since there isn’t agreement as to whether or not Kim is best suited for a starting or relieving job against MLB competition. (Kim is reportedly looking to start.) That said, Kim’s salary demands aren’t known, and since at least six teams are known to have interest, it can’t hurt to aim high in the early days of his posting period.
- Another player from the KBO League, Mel Rojas Jr. is also hearing from several Major League clubs, MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi tweets. Rojas was a third-round pick for the Pirates in 2010 who played seven seasons in the minors before joining the KT Wiz prior to the 2017 season. Since going to South Korea and the hitter-friendly KBO League, Rojas has posted an impressive .310/.377/.561 with 85 homers over 1590 PA. Rojas is looking for guaranteed deal for a return back to North American baseball, as he’ll otherwise probably remain with the KT Wiz.