TODAY: The market for Hand seems to be shaping up. Hand could decide on his new team as early as this weekend, as MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (Twitter link) hears from several teams who “have been told that Hand wants to make a decision soon.”
Specifically, the Angels, Dodgers, Mets, and Jays are all at least in the conversation for Hand, per MLB Insider Jon Heyman (via Twitter). Heyman also adds the Nationals as the newest team to emerge as a potential suitor. If the Nationals can find the money for Hand, he could serve as a replacement for free-agent Sean Doolittle. As things stand now, the Nats are without a proven southpaw in the pen, with non-roster invitee Luis Avilan as the only lefty on the 40-man roster besides rookies Sam Clay, Seth Romero, and Ben Braymer.
JANUARY 20: Free-agent reliever Brad Hand has received interest from several teams since Cleveland unexpectedly cut ties with him in late October. The Blue Jays are among the clubs that have been linked to Hand, and Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that “they’ve had an offer out to” the three-time All-Star.
Hand would be the third noteworthy addition of the offseason for the Blue Jays’ bullpen, which has already landed Kirby Yates (one of Hand’s ex-Padres teammates) and Tyler Chatwood this week. Yates looks like a candidate to close for the Blue Jays in 2021, but that job could go to Hand if the team signs him. Despite losing almost 2 mph on his fastball, Hand posted his latest in a long line of productive seasons in 2020, as the 30-year-old registered a sparkling 2.05 ERA/2.80 SIERA in 22 innings. Hand also converted all 16 of his save opportunities and ranked 13th among relievers in K-BB percentage (29.1).
Toronto and others have new competition for Hand in the Angels, who “have emerged as a possibility” to sign him, Robert Murray of FanSided tweets. He would be another major late-game acquisition for a Halos club that swung a trade with the Reds earlier this offseason for right-hander Raisel Iglesias and picked up southpaw Alex Claudio in free agency. The Angels could still use another lefty for their righty-heavy relief corps, though, and Hand may be their answer.