The Mets and Phillies are among the teams that have gone after Rangers left-hander Mike Minor this offseason, though the former is on his 10-team no-trade list, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Todd Zolecki of MLB.com). It may be a moot point anyway, as the Mets’ pursuit of Minor has reportedly “stalled” because of the Rangers’ asking price. The Phillies, meanwhile, would give Minor a chance to win a starting job in the spring, according to Zolecki, though he adds that they also like his ability to work out of the bullpen. If the Phillies miss out on free agent Zach Britton, whom they’ve been chasing throughout the offseason, they could acquire Minor and use him to fill their need for a left-handed reliever.
- Whether the Phillies will add another righty to their bullpen is up in the air, but it won’t be free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel unless his price comes down, Zolecki reports. However, if Kimbrel sits on the market for a while longer and becomes more willing to accepting a three- or four-year offer, it’s possible the Phillies could strike, Zolecki suggests. That’s what happened last offseason when they reeled in starter Jake Arrieta on a three-year, $75MM pact – far lower than what he wanted entering the winter – a few weeks before he 2018 campaign started.
- In signing southpaw Andrew Miller on Friday, the Cardinals fulfilled their desire to pick up a lefty reliever this winter. Before nabbing Miller, though, they contacted the Indians regarding Brad Hand, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The Indians’ asking price for Hand was presumably too high, however, given his star-level production from 2016-18, team-friendly contract and what they surrendered for him last July. Just five months ago, Cleveland sent elite prospect Francisco Mejia to San Diego for Hand and fellow reliever Adam Cimber.
- Don’t expect the Astros to look for a reliever in response to righty Joe Smith’s injury, according to president Jeff Luhnow (via Mark Feinsand of MLB.com). “Losing Joe is a blow, but I don’t think it requires us to go out and get another late-inning reliever. We’re going to have enough good arms in the bullpen to do what we need to do,” Luhnow said regarding Smith, who will miss six to eight months after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured left Achilles. Luhnow’s stance is understandable – even with Smith on the shelf, Houston’s bullpen will continue to boast a slew of proven righties in Roberto Osuna, Chris Devenski, Ryan Pressly, Hector Rondon, Will Harris and Brad Peacock.