In his latest notes column, FanRag’s Jon Heyman reports that while teams such as the Astros, Pirates, Rangers and Yankees were all linked to Jose Quintana in trade rumors this offseason, the best offer the White Sox received came from an unnamed club that is currently perceived as more of a rebuilding team. That could mean any number of teams — the Braves, Phillies, Twins, Reds, Brewers and Padres are all in the midst of retooling their organizations — and further context is seemingly unknown at this time. A trade of Quintana, at this point, seems far likelier to occur this summer than during the final days of Spring Training, though Heyman’s note is a reminder that Quintana would appeal to virtually any club in baseball. With four years and $36.85MM remaining on his contract, Quintana’s affordable level of excellence can help clubs looking to win now or those looking to contend more in 2018-19.
A few more highlights…
- The Braves have made “multiple” attempts to sign free-agent outfielder Angel Pagan, but the veteran has been holding out for a big league deal worth around $5MM. Heyman notes that Pagan has received some guaranteed offers, but they’ve come with very low base salaries. Atlanta has also been tied to another reunion with infielder Kelly Johnson, but Heyman notes that Johnson, too, is seeking a Major League contract.
- Zack Cozart is still available in trade talks, but the Reds haven’t gotten much in the way of appealing offers due to the fact that few clubs are looking for a shortstop right now. The Padres have talked to Cincinnati about Cozart, but Heyman notes that they’re not keen on giving up top-tier talent for a player with only one year of club control remaining before free agency. Heyman notes that San Diego is still on the lookout for a shortstop upgrade.
- The Rangers would want a Major League ready starting pitcher in any trade involving Jurickson Profar, Heyman notes. The Padres like Profar but wouldn’t be willing to surrender right-hander Luis Perdomo in order to obtain him, he adds. That may raise an eyebrow for some fans, but I’d point out that Perdomo has five years of control remaining (to Profar’s three) and posted a 4.47 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 61.4 percent ground-ball rate across his final 110 2/3 innings in 2016 after a dismal start in the bullpen. In that time, he posted a 3.84 xFIP and 3.88 SIERA. Profar hit .239/.321/.338 in 307 plate appearances last season.
- Right-hander Jered Weaver tells Heyman that he considered retirement this offseason following a career-worst year in 2016. However, Weaver began to feel stronger after a month of rest, ultimately landing with the Padres on a one-year, $3MM deal. Weaver says that he’s “10 steps above last year” in terms of how he feels physically at this point.
- The Indians made an offer to Jose Bautista that was for roughly the same $18.5MM guarantee he received with the Blue Jays, Heyman reports, and they weren’t entirely closed off to a multi-year deal. However, Bautista’s preference was to head back to Toronto.
- The Pirates sought right-hander Derek Law (among other pieces) in trade talks centering around Mark Melancon with the Giants at last year’s trade deadline, per Heyman. It seems that the Pirates were focused on adding an MLB-ready replacement arm for the bullpen in Melancon talks, which they received in the form of left-hander Felipe Rivero. San Francisco, of course, signed Melancon to a four-year deal this winter.