The latest from the National League…
- The Marlins are trying to work out a contract with catcher Francisco Cervelli, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link). Injuries have plagued Cervelli over the last several seasons, most notably (and seriously) a series of concussions. Cervelli was limited to only 48 games for the Pirates and Braves in 2019 due to concussion symptoms, yet it was as recently as 2018 that Cervelli hit .259/.378/.431 with 12 homers over 404 plate appearances for Pittsburgh. The 33-year-old backstop (notably, a former Yankees teammate of Marlins CEO Derek Jeter) would act as a veteran backup to Jorge Alfaro in Miami.
- Saturday’s trade between the Cardinals and Rangers that sent Adolis Garcia to Texas had roots at the Winter Meetings, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes, as the Cards were known to be shopping their surplus of right-handed hitting outfielders. With this “head start on talks” about Garcia, the Cardinals expected Texas or another club to step up with a suitable trade offer when Garcia was designated for assignment earlier this week. Moving Garcia eliminated one name from a still-crowded Cardinals outfield, so more moves could still be in the offing for St. Louis. One player who doesn’t seem likely to be moved is top prospect Dylan Carlson, as the Cardinals unsurprisingly “have had near zero interest in including” Carlson in any trade talks this winter.
- Though the demand for pitching continues to increase and the Pirates could be entering into something of a rebuild period under new GM Ben Cherington, right-hander Joe Musgrove might not be a trade candidate, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes (subscription required). “I seriously doubt [the Pirates] would talk about him. They may say they’d talk about him, but they’re not going to trade him,” a official on a rival team told Olney. Musgrove just turned 27 and is arbitration-eligible for only the first time, projected by MLBTR to earn $3.4MM. That’s a more than affordable price for the low-payroll Bucs, considering that Musgrove posted a 4.44 ERA, 4.03 K/BB rate, and 8.3 K/9 over 170 1/3 innings last season, and generated 5.5 fWAR in 2018-19. The Blue Jays are one team known to have discussed Musgrove in trade talks this winter, though those discussions reportedly amounted to little.