As the offseason continues to move along, here are three things to keep and eye on throughout the day today:
1. Reported signings that could be made official.
Free agent deals are often reported before they’re officially complete and announced by the team. Delays in making things official are often due to the player’s physical not being done yet, or perhaps simply because the team wants to delay having to make a corresponding 40-man roster move. The recent holiday season could also play a role in delaying the physicals on such agreements. MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy tweets that Wade Miley’s one-year, $4.5MM deal with the Brewers, agreed upon yesterday, could have a short turnaround and become official as soon as today. Additionally, deals that still haven’t been made officially from last week, such as Arizona’s one-year, $4MM agreement with Evan Longoria and the one-year, $10MM deal between the Red Sox and Corey Kluber, could also be made official soon. All three organizations have full 40-man rosters, so they’ll need to make a corresponding move to open up space for their incoming free agent.
2. Could Cueto be nearing a decision?
According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Padres and Marlins are “vying” for the services of veteran right-hander Johnny Cueto, with the Reds also interested in acquiring the 36-year-old. Cueto stands as one of the top free-agent pitchers remaining on the market following a solid season with the White Sox where he posted a 3.35 ERA (18% better than league average by ERA+) and a 3.79 FIP. Both the Marlins and Padres have been previously mentioned as interested in adding Cueto to their rotation; this being said, it’s somewhat notable that Rosenthal seems to indicate that the Padres and the Marlins are the frontrunners at this point ahead of Cincinnati, with whom Cueto spent the first seven and a half years of his career.
3. Two Cubs players are currently in DFA limbo.
Yesterday, the Cubs sent recently reliever Erich Uelmen, who had recently been designated for assignment, to the Phillies in exchange for cash considerations. While this move brings Uelmen’s DFA to a conclusion, Chicago still has two players in DFA limbo, with the results of their DFA unannounced: first baseman Alfonso Rivas and catcher P.J. Higgins. Rivas, who was designated to make room for a waiver claim of Anthony Kay, cannot reject an outright assignment to Triple-A, meaning he will likely stay in the Cubs organization if he goes unclaimed on waivers. Higgins, meanwhile, does have the option of rejecting an outright assignment, by virtue of the fact that he’s been outrighted previously in his career. He’ll have control of his own future should he go unclaimed on waivers following his DFA, which made room for the club’s signing of Tucker Barnhart.