The Mets are interested in righty reliever Liam Hendriks, arguably the No. 1 bullpen arm available on the open market, per Andy Martino of SNY. He’d be the second major relief addition this offseason for the Mets, who signed Trevor May to a two-year, $15.5MM guarantee last week. Hendriks, previously with the Athletics, was perhaps the most dominant reliever in baseball during the previous two seasons. In that 108 1/3-inning stretch, the 31-year-old logged a matching 1.66 ERA/FIP, notched 13.21 K/9 against 1.83 BB/9, and recorded 39 saves in 47 opportunities. While the New York club has some level of interest in cross-town star D.J. LeMahieu, David Lennon of Newsday writes, it’s more on the “periphery” in that pursuit at the moment.
More from the eastern divisions:
- The aforementioned Hendriks and fellow free-agent reliever Brad Hand “are believed to be” on the Blue Jays’ radar, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet writes (their interest in Hand was previously reported). Either pitcher would further strengthen a Toronto bullpen that finished 24th in the majors in ERA and 28th in K/BB ratio last season. It seems the Toronto organization is still casting rather a wide net in its free agent search. Gregor Chisholm of the Toronto Star recently linked the team to a number of big names at a variety of positions.
- Orioles general manager Mike Elias said Tuesday that the team is unlikely to give out any multiyear contracts in free agency (Twitter links via Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun). However, Elias acknowledged the Orioles are hunting for a new shortstop after trading Jose Iglesias to the Angels last week. Elsewhere, Elias said the Orioles plan to keep righty Alex Cobb, who has one year and $15MM left on his contract. Cobb had a decent year in 2020 (4.30 ERA/4.87 FIP in 52 1/3 innings), though he may be a tough sell at his current salary.
- Sticking with the Orioles, beleaguered first baseman Chris Davis revealed Wednesday (via Melo) that he has no plans to hang up his cleats at this point. “I don’t want it to end the way that things have gone the last few years for me. I think there’s more of a story to be told but as far as my contract is concerned, it is what it is,” said Davis. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m not giving up. I’m not throwing in the towel. I understand the club is in a position right now to where they’re trying to cut payroll, and I’m the one big lump that they’re kind of stuck with. But they knew what they were signing up for when they took the job.” Davis’s seven-year, $161MM contract has been an unmitigated disaster for the Orioles, but he’s certainly not obligated to walk away from the remaining two seasons even if the club would prefer it. The 34-year-old is coming off a third-straight woeful season. Davis took just 55 plate appearances, failed to hit a home run and posted a brutal minus-14 wRC+.
- Moving south on 95, the Nationals have a need for just the sort of player Davis once was. The D.C. organization put in an effort to lure Carlos Santana before he latched on with the Royals, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post reports on Twitter. Missing on the veteran slugger makes it likelier that the Nats will end up putting together some kind of timeshare at first, as there isn’t a clear everyday alternative available in free agency. It also keeps the door open to a return for Nationals stalwart Ryan Zimmerman, whose intentions remain unknown.