The latest pitcher-relates news from around baseball…
- Left-hander Cole Hamels said earlier this offseason he’d be open to a return to Philadelphia, where he thrived at the beginning of his career. Hamels wound up accepting the division-rival Braves’ one-year, $18MM offer on Wednesday, but the Phillies were among his suitors before then. They put forth a one-year proposal worth roughly half what Hamels got from the Braves, per Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. With that in mind, it’s no surprise Hamels turned down a return to Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the starter-needy Phillies made a much bigger splash to improve their rotation Wednesday, as they agreed to sign ex-Met Zack Wheeler to a five-year, $118MM pact.
- The Twins were also among the most ardent teams in pursuit of Wheeler, according to La Velle E. Neal of the Star Tribune. They offered Wheeler a five-year, $100MM offer, but the Phillies upended them. Had Wheeler taken the Twins’ offer, it would have been the richest in franchise history. Now, even after Jake Odorizzi accepted a qualifying offer from the Twins, they’re still in clear need of starting help. Odorizzi and Jose Berrios are the only sure things for Minnesota’s 2020 rotation, meaning we probably haven’t seen the last of the team’s starting pursuits this winter. Indeed, the Twins seem to be aggressively going after free-agent left-hander Madison Bumgarner.
- The Angels and Orioles swung a headline-grabbing trade Wednesday, when Los Angeles acquired righty Dylan Bundy from Baltimore. Even after picking up Bundy, the Angels remain “in the market for pitching,” said general manager Billy Eppler (via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com). As for the non-contending Orioles, in parting with Bundy, they took “a big step toward our stated goals to accumulate and develop as much young talent as possible as the club rebuilds its roster and gets our talent level back to the level needed for consistent playoff contention,” per GM Mike Elias (via Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com).
- Korea Baseball Organization right-hander Josh Lindblom officially became a free agent Wednesday, the Yonhap News Agency relays. Lindblom was terrific as a member of the KBO’s Doosan Bears from 2018-19, as MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently explained. Before that, he was unremarkable in the majors from 2011-17 with several teams. However, Lindblom’s KBO performance could overshadow his MLB history as he seeks a big league contract this offseason.