It usually isn’t a good tactic for free agents to accept the first offer that comes their way, yet this past offseason, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman notes that several players would have been better served by accepting deals before the new collective bargaining agreement was finalized. Many free agents, particularly sluggers like Mark Trumbo, saw their offers drop after the new CBA was settled in early December, as teams were suddenly more wary about spending in the wake of more punitive luxury tax rules. Trumbo tells Heyman that he doesn’t regret returning to the Orioles on a three-year, $37.5MM deal, though the implication was that a larger offer was on the table for an undetermined amount. Reports from earlier this winter indicated that the Orioles themselves initially offered Trumbo a larger deal in the four-year, $52MM range.
Here’s more from Heyman, in his weekly roundup of news and notes from all 30 teams…
- The Rangers have increased their offer in extension talks with Rougned Odor, though “it isn’t believed to be where the player wants it to be.” Heyman suggests that Odor’s representation could see Jason Kipnis’ six-year, $52.5MM extension with the Indians “as a baseline,” whereas the last time we heard of talks between the two sides, Texas had offered a deal only “in the range of” the Kipnis deal. Odor’s team isn’t expected to make a counter offer, so Heyman feels the talks could be tabled altogether. There isn’t necessarily any rush to get an extension done, as Odor is still under team control for four more years, though he’ll start to get more expensive next winter when he becomes eligible for arbitration.
- There aren’t any extension talks taking place between Dusty Baker and the Nationals, though the skipper says he “ain’t worried” about the situation. Baker is only under contract for one more season in Washington, and his first year in D.C. resulted in an NL East title for the Nats.
- The White Sox are open to any trades, “but at their price,” according to one rival GM. While this statement is probably generally true for every team, Chicago is known to have a very high price tag on its main trade chips as it looks to rebuild, and the Sox have already landed two big prospect hauls from the Red Sox and Nationals, respectively, in deals for Chris Sale and Adam Eaton. The Nats and White Sox have also been heavily linked in talks about David Robertson, though a source tells Heyman that it has been “over two months” since the two sides last discussed the closer.
- The Blue Jays talked to Pedro Alvarez before the slugger re-signed with the Orioles on a minor league deal. Toronto has switch-hitters Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak slated for DH and first base, respectively, though Steve Pearce and possibly Jose Bautista will get some time at both positions as well. Alvarez would have brought some needed left-handed pop to a Jays lineup that is heavy on right-handed bats, and he could’ve also maybe helped out in left field given how Alvarez has been working out as an outfielder this winter.
- The Pirates and Mariners are considering some bullpen help.
- The Marlins are open to adding a starting pitcher. Adam Conley has been struggling this spring, though his issues aside, there certainly seems to be room for improvement within Miami’s projected starting five of Wei-Yin Chen, Edinson Volquez, Conley, Dan Straily and Tom Koehler.
- Heyman wonders if Angel Pagan could be an option for the Giants given their outfield issues this spring. Hunter Pence and Denard Span have struggled, while Mike Morse and Mac Williamson are both sidelined with injuries, so an outfielder like Pagan capable of playing all three spots could seem to fit as a depth piece. Of course, San Francisco is already trying out many of its surplus infield pieces as potential outfielders, and Pagan is still insisting on a a Major League contract.
- Byron Buxton and Max Kepler appear to be the only true untouchables on the Twins roster as the team continues its rebuilding process. It’s worth noting that Minnesota only made a couple of minor deals this offseason under the new Derek Falvey/Thad Levine-led front office, despite a lot of rumors surrounding such veterans as Brian Dozier or Ervin Santana.
- Johan Santana is still hopeful of a comeback, continuing to work out with an eye towards potentially signing with a team for the second half of the season.
- Craig Gentry, who signed a minor league deal with the Orioles last month, “has impressed Buck Showalter” and is looking in good position to break camp with the team. The O’s could use platoons in both left and right field, with Hyun Soo Kim and Seth Smith as the left-handed bats and Gentry and Joey Rickard providing the right-handed hitting support. This could mean that Rule 5 picks Anthony Santander and Aneury Tavarez may end up back with their old clubs, though Santander could be saved on the DL as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery, as well as elbow and neck issues this spring.