The Dodgers have been linked to free-agent lefty Brad Hand over the past week or so, but they’re more on the “periphery” of his market, writes Fansided’s Robert Murray. The Mets are still in talks with Hand and his representatives, while both the Astros and Blue Jays are also involved to varying extents. Reports that Hand was closing in on a deal with the Mets last week proved a bit premature, although it seems they’re still squarely in the mix for the former All-Star closer. As for the Dodgers, even if they’re not major players in the Hand market at the moment, Murray suggests they’d still like to add another reliever to the bullpen.
A few more notes on the free agent pitching market as it starts to percolate…
- MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand tweets that Jeremy Jeffress is on the radar of several clubs, including the Red Sox, Cubs, Astros, Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, Nationals and Blue Jays. It’s a wide field, though the level of interest of each team surely varies. The 33-year-old Jeffress was dominant back in 2018 but hasn’t replicated that form since. He did post an aesthetically pleasing 1.54 ERA and 54.4 percent grounder rate in 23 1/3 innings with the Cubs last year, but the rest of his numbers were something of a mess. Jeffress’ 13.6 percent walk rate was his worst since establishing himself as a consistent presence in MLB bullpens, while his 19.3 percent strikeout rate was 10 percent lower than his 29.8 percent clip from that brilliant 2018 campaign. Last year also saw Jeffress post career-worsts in average fastball velocity (93.3 mph), average exit velocity (89.9 mph) and hard-hit rate (45.6 percent). If Jeffress can rediscover his ’18 form, he’d be a premium late-inning option, but last year’s ERA was propped up by a .161 average on balls in play that is miles south of his career .308 mark.
- Anibal Sanchez and Julio Teheran will be throwing in front of scouts during a showcase today, and several teams will have personnel on hand. The list of confirmed attendees includes the Rays (as per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times), Twins (SKOR North’s Darren Wolfson), Marlins (MLB.com’s Christina De Nicola), and Mets (the New York Post’s Mike Puma).