Of the pricey veterans the Red Sox reportedly considered trading last month, they “pushed” center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. harder than anyone else, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic hears (subscription required). However, the Red Sox couldn’t find a deal to their liking for JBJ, Rosenthal notes. The Diamondbacks were the only team publicly connected to Bradley around that time, though there were conflicting reports about whether they were truly interested in him. As of now, it seems the soon-to-be 29-year-old Bradley will once again man center in Boston in 2019, his second-last second of arbitration eligibility. Bradley will make a projected $7.9MM during the upcoming season.
Here’s more from Rosenthal:
- The report that free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal rejected a four-year, $60MM proposal from the Mets earlier this winter is “essentially accurate,” Rosenthal writes. While the Mets didn’t submit a formal offer to Grandal, the two sides did discuss a deal in the $55MM to $60MM neighborhood, per Rosenthal, who adds the 30-year-old was aiming for a contract worth closer to $65MM. The Mets balked at Grandal’s request, though, and then signed the No. 2 catcher available, Wilson Ramos. There’s now “doubt” Grandal’s next contract will approach what the Mets were willing to give him, Rosenthal relays.
- More from Rosenthal on the Mets, who – in need of starting depth – are considering left-hander Derek Holland and righty Josh Tomlin in free agency. Holland easily had the stronger year of the two in 2018, which figures to make him the more difficult hurler to sign. He should be able to net a major league contract this winter, whereas the Mets are hoping to land someone on a non-guaranteed pact, Rosenthal reports. With that in mind, Tomlin may be a more realistic option, as he endured a miserable 2018 with the Indians. However, the 34-year-old was successful at times from 2014-17 under ex-Tribe pitching coach and current Mets manager Mickey Callaway.
- Before righty Anibal Sanchez signed a two-year, $19MM guarantee with the Nationals last month, the Athletics made him a three-year offer, according to Rosenthal. It’s unclear how much the A’s were willing to pay Sanchez, but Rosenthal points out that the proximity of Washington, D.C., to the the 34-year-old’s South Florida home helped tip the scale in the Nationals’ favor. Further, the Nats train in West Palm Beach, Fla., while the A’s are headquartered in Mesa, Ariz. Based on his bounce-back 2018 in Atlanta, Sanchez would’ve provided a much-needed upgrade in Oakland, which hasn’t improved its rotation this offseason.
- Southpaw Dallas Keuchel stands as the most decorated starter remaining on the open market, but if the Astros had their way, he wouldn’t be available. The Astros offered Keuchel a five-year, $90MM extension early in the 2016 campaign, but he turned it down, according to Rosenthal. At that point, Keuchel was a 28-year-old coming off an AL Cy Young-winning season. Now 31, Keuchel hasn’t been quite as effective since his career-best campaign, though he remains an above-average starter and should rake in a high-paying multiyear deal before the offseason is out. Having made $22.35MM in salaries since he rejected the Astros’ offer, Keuchel will need to sign for $67.65MM as a free agent in order to match what Houston offered him, Rosenthal notes.