- The Marlins had interest in John Lackey to upgrade their rotation, Heyman writes. Lackey got two years and $32MM from the Cubs, and the Marlins have interest in a pitcher at around that price. They do have interest in Ian Kennedy, although he might turn out to be too expensive.
- The Marlins have also had preliminary extension talks with second baseman Dee Gordon, tweets Heyman. They will meet with his agent, Rick Thurman of Beverly Hills Sports Council, at the Winter Meetings. Gordon, a Super Two player, will make a projected $5.9MM in his second year of arbitration eligibility in 2016 after leading the NL in hits, batting average and stolen bases (as well as times caught stealing) last season. If he doesn’t agree to a deal, he’ll be eligible for free agency following the 2018 campaign.
- The Marlins do not intend to trade Jose Fernandez and have received only a few calls on him, Heyman says. Marlins exec Michael Hill recently told MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro that the team had not placed their ace on the block.
Here’s a roundup of the news and reactions related to the Giants’ signing of Jeff Samardzija…
- The Giants ownership group “was ecstatic” with GM Bobby Evans’ preparation, writes Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News. After the club missed out on Zack Greinke, they were ready to quickly pull the trigger on Samardzija. While he’s a big step down from Greinke, Samardzija comes with plenty of upside. He’ll also allow the club to pursue either another starting pitcher or a serious outfield upgrade like Yoenis Cespedes or Justin Upton.
- Samardzija selected the Giants over the Cardinals and Dodgers, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. As has often been reported, the Cardinals are looking for depth to replace Lance Lynn who will miss 2016 after Tommy John surgery. The Dodgers are exploring the market for virtually any quality pitcher.
- The Cubs backed off Samardzija due to the five-year term, tweets Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com. His former club met the $18MM annual value paid by the Giants, but were uncomfortable with such a lengthy deal. In my opinion, the John Lackey signing sufficiently meets the club’s current needs. If Chicago decides to upgrade for a playoff run, they can cash in one of their many prospects.
- Meanwhile, the Yankees were never involved in the bidding, tweets Joel Sherman of the NY Post. New York is focused on the trade market for pitchers with zero to three years of service time. This news indicates a continuation of the Yankees’ youth movement.
- Samardzija projects to be comparable to Jordan Zimmermann, writes Dave Cameron of FanGraphs. Given that Zimmermann signed for an average of $4MM more per season, the Giants received solid value relative to the market. Samardzija is a challenging pitcher to project, leading to a wide range of conceivable outcomes.
- In talking about the deal, Evans praised Samardzija’s durability, writes Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Evans believes mechanical adjustments could lead to a rebound 2016 season. He also suggests that working with Buster Posey this season will help Samardzija’s numbers. While he doesn’t specifically mention it, AT&T Park is the most pitcher friendly stadium in the majors. Undoubtedly, Samardzija will also benefit from his new home field.
- Ben Zobrist, who the club can now afford after not inking Greinke, is scheduled to visit Giants officials soon, reports John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Evans commented on the flexibility offered by saying, “smaller deals give you potential for larger moves, and larger moves could limit the number of choices you may have and cause a ripple effect with the need to stay with smaller deals.“
The Cubs are “pretty hot” on John Lackey, reports Yahoo’s Tim Brown (Twitter link), who hears that the two sides are discussing both two- and three-year contract possibilities. If the two sides do come to an agreement, it’ll mark the second time that Theo Epstein has signed Lackey as a free agent, as Epstein was Boston’s GM when Lackey signed his five-year, $82.5MM contract with the Red Sox.
Lackey, 37, would give Chicago a strong No. 3 option in the rotation behind Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester. While Chicago has been said to be interested in a reunion with Jeff Samardzija, ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported earlier today that the price tag on Samardzija may be rising beyond the Cubs’ comfort level. Meanwhile, FOX’s Ken Rosenthal said that the Cubs were becoming increasingly interested in Lackey as the prices of starters who will require longer-term commitments continued to rise.
Lackey has also reportedly drawn at least some interest from the Giants, Cardinals, Dodgers, Rangers, Diamondbacks and Marlins this offseason. He rejected a qualifying offer from the Cardinals after posting a 2.77 ERA, 7.2 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in a terrific 2015 season in St. Louis.
The Cubs remain interested in a reunion with Jeff Samardzija, reports ESPN’s Jayson Stark, but the team may be getting uncomfortable with the level to which his price is rising. Samardzija, who has reportedly received offers of $90MM and $100MM, is of interest to both the Giants and Dodgers, and the team that loses out on the services of Zack Greinke may very well turn to Samardzija, per Stark. Said one executive from a team that has interest in Samardzija: “I don’t know if he gets to nine figures. But if you put the over/under on him at $90 million, I’d go ’at’ or ’over.'”
Some more notes on what has been an aggressive and high-priced market for starting pitching thus far…
- As the prices for arms like Samardzija and others rise, a two-year deal for John Lackey is becoming increasingly appealing for the Cubs, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. While the Cubs may indeed have interest in two years for Lackey, it seems reasonable enough to me to believe that interest in him could push the requirement to three years. Lackey will pitch next season at 37, but he’s delivered results that are either on part with or in excess of expectations for younger, second-tier starters and won’t come with as extravagant a price tag as Samardzija, Mike Leake or Wei-Yin Chen.
- Having already completed five trades and signed four free agents — most recently Nori Aoki — the Mariners will turn their focus to re-signing Hisashi Iwakuma, writes MLB.com’s Greg Johns. General manager Jerry Dipoto told Johns and other reporters that while he still needs to address utility infielder and determine who will play first base in 2015, his focus will be shifting more to the rotation for the time being. “We are continuing to move along with Kuma and we’ll see where that takes us,” said Dipoto.
- Turning from free agency to the trade side of the starting pitching market, Stark tweeted yesterday that the Padres are hoping to move James Shields without having to eat any money in the deal, citing unnamed clubs that have been in trade talks with San Diego. Not only that, they’re hoping to land a younger shortstop option in the deal. Clearly, that’s a lofty and unlikely goal, as Shields along doesn’t carry that type of value on his own and comes with significant downside given his opt-out clause. If the Padres were willing to take back a sizable contract in exchange for Shields, perhaps the scenario would become more plausible.
- The Padres, though, think the rising price of free agent starters could make the remaining $65MM on Shields’ contract look more appealing (links to Twitter). That may be the case, but Shields certainly isn’t a bargain, and some scouts tell Rosenthal they feel that Shields’s stuff is in decline. And, as Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweeted yesterday, his opt-out clause makes him a risky target for any club. Shields isn’t a lock to opt out of the deal even with a big 2016 season, per Lin, because he loves living in San Diego. A trade might make him more inclined to re-enter the market if he performs well enough, so a team could be acquiring just one year of him if he performs up to his previous standards. On the other hand — the aforementioned downside — if Shields repeats his 2015 results or struggles even further, then the team would be left with the two years and $44MM on his contract from 2017-18.
- The Rockies like Braves right-hander Shelby Miller quite a bit, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. However, Colorado and Atlanta haven’t discussed a possible swap “in a while,” a source told Saunders. While the Braves are seeking outfield upgrades, an expensive and relatively short-term asset like Carlos Gonzalez wouldn’t hold appeal to the Braves, he writes. Rather, a player like Corey Dickerson and other prospects would probably be Atlanta’s asking price, he continues, adding that the Rox aren’t presently in the Miller derby.
- The White Sox were interested in both Jesse Chavez and Ivan Nova last month, reports George A. King III of the New York Post, but the fact that Chavez is now off the board following a trade to Toronto hasn’t increased Chicago’s interest in Nova. The Yankees have discussed Nova with multiple teams and will continue to market him at the Winter Meetings, though the asking price reported by King — a younger arm with more controllable years — seems too steep unless the Yankees are adding other pieces to the deal.
- The Marlins aren’t shopping ace Jose Fernandez, president of baseball operations Michael Hill tells MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Hill said he’s “not sure where that came from” in reference to rumors that Fernandez could be had in trades, but the plan is for Fernandez to front Miami’s rotation next season. Hill said that teams, naturally, ask for Fernandez all the time, just as they did with Giancarlo Stanton prior to his extension. But, that’s to be expected with elite players that are not locked up on contract extensions, he notes, and inquiring teams are informed that Fernandez isn’t for sale.
Both the Angels and Dodgers have ongoing interest in free agent Chase Utley, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com tweets. A source tells Stark that the veteran would like to play in his native California, and it seems he’ll have options to do just that. Utley has been consistently linked to the Dodgers since they declined his $15MM option, and agent Joel Wolfe recently went on-record to state that five or six teams have expressed interest in Utley as a “mostly everyday infielder.” From my vantage point, the Angels have a clearer path to regular (or near-regular) at-bats for Utley. The Dodgers have multiple infield options, including Enrique Hernandez and Jose Peraza.
A few more notes on the free-agent market…
- Another former Phillies stalwart, Shane Victorino, is telling clubs that he intends to return to switch hitting in advance of the 2016 season, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. “I am finding out that not switch-hitting and not doing things from both sides of the plate had lots to do with the way my body has felt,” Victorino told Rosenthal. “Going back and doing things from both sides is such a good thing for my body now that I can physically do it again.”
- Within that same piece, Rosenthal notes that the Cubs are “busy” looking for a center fielder but are faced with relatively limited options. Dexter Fowler is a possibility for the Cubs but is currently exploring the open market. Signing Jason Heyward to play center field is an option, but the team would then need to address its rotation in a cost-effective manner by trading a young bat such as Jorge Soler or Javier Baez. If Soler ends up being the price to bolster the rotation, then the outfield would, of course, remain an issue.
- The Rangers still love Mike Napoli, tweets MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, but general manager Jon Daniels indicated today that his club may not have the “right spot” to fit Napoli into the mix next season. Sullivan’s Seattle counterpart, Greg Johns, however, tweets that Napoli could potentially be of interest to the Mariners, who have a need at first base after trading both Logan Morrison and Mark Trumbo this offseason. Napoli struggled for much of the season in Boston but was reinvigorated by a return to the Lone Star State, hitting .295/.396/.513 in 91 plate appearances with the Rangers. His cumulative .278/.391/.563 line against lefties last year indicates that Napoli, at the very least, is still a highly potent platoon option.
- Sticking with former Rangers, right-hander Colby Lewis tells Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram that Dr. Keith Meister gave him a “thumbs up” on his left knee (links to Twitter). Lewis has been working out and expects to be 100 percent for Spring Training. Many teams have contacted his agents at Octagon, says Lewis, though he remains hopeful that the Rangers will be interested after his latest knee exam. There’s some interest on both sides, according to Wilson.
- The Giants consider Jeff Samardzija and Mike Leake fallback plans in the event that they’re unable to lure Zack Greinke away from L.A., tweets Rosenthal. John Lackey, too, is a consideration for San Francisco. There’s no word yet on a decision from Greinke, who is said to be choosing between the Dodgers and Giants.
- In the wake of yesterday’s tender deadline, MLB.com’s Zachary Finkelstein identified five non-tendered players that are still worthy of roster spots and can be potential bargains for clubs in 2016 (and, in some cases, beyond). Henderson Alvarez tops the list and is followed by Pedro Alvarez, Chris Carter, Tyler Flowers and Neftali Feliz. Alvarez’s youth and track record, the power of Alvarez and Carter, the pitch-framing abilities of Flowers and still-strong velocity plus a nice finish for Feliz give some elements of value to each, he writes.
ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers has penned a column on the status of the Cubs’ targets in free agency at present. To this point, the team hasn’t given any indication that a pursuit of either Zack Greinke or Johnny Cueto is a possibility, leaving David Price as the sole top-tier arm that the Cubs could be expected to pursue, Rogers writes. The Cubs’ Plan B in terms of free-agent pitchers focuses on Jeff Samardzija at this point, according to Rogers, and sources tell him that the team is also in the mix for Ben Zobrist. Signing Zobrist would all but ensure a trade of Starlin Castro, but of course, there is widespread interest in Zobrist, who is one of the most popular free agents on this year’s market. Rogers lists Jason Heyward as a perhaps speculative target but notes that president Theo Epstein has pointed out in the past how young the game is getting, and Heyward, 26, would indeed fit into the Cubs’ youth movement in terms of position players. I’d imagine that signing Heyward would create further trade speculation surrounding Jorge Soler and Kyle Schwarber, though Rogers doesn’t indicate that Heyward is a top target of the Cubs as things presently stand, so much of that speculation would be putting the cart before the horse.
Here are a few more notes pertaining to the Cubs…
- CSN Chicago’s David Kaplan hears that the Cubs are active on many fronts at this point but still doesn’t believe that the Cubs will be significant players for Price or Greinke (links to Twitter). Kaplan hears that the Cubs are currently active on the trade market and are also in touch with the representatives for Samardzija, Mike Leake and John Lackey. Unsurprisingly, the Cubs’ highly touted farm system has many names that are in high demand as the team explores the trade market for starting pitching. Any of Samardzija, Leake or Lackey would give the Cubs a strong third starter to slot behind Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester in the rotation.
- Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune writes that the difference between this winter and last offseason for the Cubs is that Epstein & Co. can now sell prospective free agents on the allure of joining a contender rather than preaching patience and trust that the rebuild will deliver a winning club. Epstein also explained to Sullivan a number of non-monetary incentives that the Cubs pitch to players, including the team’s new clubhouse and the programs the Cubs have set up for the families of players to enjoy upon relocating to Chicago. “Just little things behind the scenes we do that really impact the lives for our players’ families they may not be aware of,” said Epstein. Of course, as Sullivan notes, those factors alone probably won’t outweigh the difference between tens of millions of dollars, but they could help tip the scales in Chicago’s favor should they make a similar offer to another club for a free agent target.
- Epstein noted today that the club’s early-offseason moves haven’t been without their importance, as Rogers reports. “Depth is underrated, especially in the winter,” said Hoyer. “Everyone will write out lineups in the offseason and they don’t focus on bench, they don’t focus on the bullpen, they don’t focus on guys in Triple-A that are going up and down. Over the course of six months, those are the little moves that make a huge difference.” But Hoyer made clear that more impactful transactions are coming in the near term, with the organization prepared to adapt as the market explodes. “You have to stay nimble and know things will come at you that you might not have expected,” he said. “Some team will throw an idea at us that we never thought about.”
The Orioles were right to extend Matt Wieters a qualifying offer even though the plan backfired, writes Rich Dubroff of CSNmidatlantic.com. Dubroff’s wish list for the club includes first baseman Chris Davis, a starting pitcher, and a quality outfielder. He doesn’t expect the club’s payroll to exceed $130MM to $140MM. With about $100MM committed to their current roster, the club has just enough money to pay Davis and one other substantial piece.
- The three-year, $36MM contract signed by J.A. Happ serves to set the market floor for mid-tier starting pitchers, per Dubroff. Possible Orioles targets like Yovani Gallardo, Scott Kazmir, John Lackey, and Jeff Samardzija can expect to earn more than Happ. If the club retains the space to re-sign Davis, then they’re out on any of the top market starting pitchers.
- Dubroff also looks at first basemen past Davis. Several like Chris Parmelee, Kelly Johnson, Travis Ishikawa, Mark Reynolds, and Steve Pearce have already appeared with the Orioles. None would represent a fan-inspiring signing. Should the club fall short on Davis, Dubroff suggests a one-year flyer on Justin Morneau as one alternative.
- While Baltimore may look to free agency for additions, current players need to step up their game too, writes Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com. In particular, J.J. Hardy, Chris Tillman, and Miguel Gonzalez are listed as three players in need of a rebound. Injuries have ruined Hardy’s last two seasons, especially at the plate. Tillman, once a promising pitching prospect, is coming off his worst season since 2011. Gonzalez is entering his age 32 season after posting career worst numbers across the board.
In response to a reader question about Matt Holliday as a possible trade candidate, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch doubts the Cardinals would move a such strong bat since the team’s main winter goal is to add offense. Langosch isn’t sure if the Cards have any interest in dealing Holliday or if he would accept a trade via his 10-and-5 veto rights. Even at age 35 and battling injuries last season, Holliday still posted a very respectable .279/.394/.410 line over 277 plate appearances. 2016 is his last guaranteed year under contract (St. Louis has a $17MM club option on him for 2017) so it’s also not like Holliday is a long-term roadblock for the club’s upcoming young outfielders. Here’s some more from around baseball as we look forward to leftover turkey tomorrow…
- The Astros aren’t likely to be big players for Chris Davis, a source familiar with the situation tells Evan Drelllich of the Houston Chronicle. Davis will command a big price and Houston already has a lot of high-power, high-strikeout hitters. I myself speculated that Davis and the Astros could be a fit in my Astros Offseason Outlook piece, under the logic that the team needs a big left-handed bat, Davis is a Texas native and first base would be open if Chris Carter and Evan Gattis were non-tendered. Drellich’s piece looks at that first base situation for the Astros, and the presence of prospects Tyler White and A.J. Reed might also make a Davis signing unlikely.
- Six general managers who recently spoke with Peter Gammons believe the Red Sox will sign David Price this offseason. “Boston will go $30-40M above anyone else” to land Price, one NL GM opines. This is just the latest chatter connecting Price to the Sox, and while Gammons writes that “some feel he is uneasy about Boston, but David is so sophisticated, so talented and so intelligent he will make the best of any situation.” Another GM, however, speculates that the Cardinals could be the ones to make the big play for Price, passing on re-signing Jason Heyward in the process.
- Gammons shares some more chatter from his sources, including “a lot of John Lackey and Alex Gordon to the Cubs speculation.”
- Recently designated players like John Axford, Daniel Nava, A.J. Griffin, Danny Hultzen and Wilin Rosario could all be intriguing targets for the Padres, Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune opines. The first three are free agents, Hultzen was outrighted off the Mariners’ 40-man roster and Rosario is still in DFA limbo.
- Fangraphs’ Eno Sarris tries to identify some of the smaller-name or underrated relief arms on the open market that could blossom into bargain pickups. The Cubs are one example of a club that has built an entire bullpen (and a strong one, at that) out of such under-the-radar pitchers, as Sarris notes.
- One of the underlying stories of 2016 will be the negotiations between MLB and the players union over the next Collective Bargaining Agreement, ESPN’s Jayson Stark writes. Stark’s piece highlights some of the major issues that are likely to play a big role in the upcoming talks, ranging from revenue sharing, free agency and the qualifying offer, the length of the season, a possible international amateur draft and more. Another interesting topic could be how the league may address teams “tanking” several seasons in an attempt to rebuild, and possible solutions include a draft lottery or a rule prohibiting teams from drafting in the top five in consecutive seasons.
- The good news about the CBA talks is that multiple sources on both sides tell Stark that everyone wants to keep the labor peace that baseball has enjoyed for over two decades. “It’s a 9-and-a-half-billion dollar industry. Nobody is going to want to blow it up,” one source tells Stark.
The Giants are among the clubs that are showing interest in right-hander John Lackey, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). San Francisco, though, is exploring a wide swath of starting pitching options, per Rosenthal, so it only makes sense that Lackey would be among the pitchers to pique the team’s interest. The 37-year-old Lackey has been a popular name on the free-agent market thus far, having reportedly been connected to the Marlins, Cardinals, Cubs, D-Backs, Rangers, Red Sox and Dodgers thus far. Over the weekend, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo listed the Giants and Cubs as the two teams with the best shot to sign Lackey.
Here’s more on the market for rotation arms…
- Executives from teams searching for high-end starting pitching tell Joel Sherman of the New York Post that Jose Fernandez isn’t available in trades at this time. Sherman spoke with Fernandez’s agent, Scott Boras, about the reported tension between him and the Marlins’ front office. Boras tells Sherman that he spoke with Miami president of baseball operations Michael Hill the day after the initial negative reports surfaced, with Hill telling him that he looked forward to Fernandez fronting the team’s rotation in 2016.
- In an appearance on TSN 1050 in Canada (audio link), ESPN’s Keith Law discusses David Price with hosts Derek Taylor and Kara Wagland, noting that there’s no reason to believe he would accept anything less than full market value to return to the Blue Jays. Law adds that he’s never felt a reunion between the two sides is likely, pointing out that the MLBPA encourages the top names on the market to take every dollar possible to drive up the price for the second tier of free agents and the following year’s class. The idea of Price returning to Toronto has seemed like a long shot, at best, since he was acquired, given the team’s mid-sized payroll and previous lack of lengthy commitments. Law’s colleague, Buster Olney, wrote recently in his ESPN Insider daily blog post that some evaluators involved in discussions with Price’s camp believe that Price is indicating to all clubs that he’d like to play for them.
- FOX’s Jon Paul Morosi wonders if left-hander Wei-Yin Chen could potentially pull down an annual value of $20MM on his upcoming contract. While that number seems like a stretch, Morosi points out that agents will likely be citing Rick Porcello’s $20.625MM annual value in contract negotiations this winter. A team paying $20MM+ annually for Chen seems like a stretch to me, but Morosi’s general point about Porcello serving as a reference is interesting; we’ll find out this offseason whether that contract looks like an outlier or one that served to drive up the price for second-tier starting pitchers. Porcello’s name has come up in conversations I’ve had with industry contacts this winter, though only time will tell if his contract does indeed serve to advance the secondary pitching market.
- In a piece for Sports On Earth, MLB.com’s A.J. Cassavell tries to peg Zack Greinke’s free-agent value based on historical comparisons. Cassavell looks at age-based comps in an attempt to gauge how long Greinke will remain effective and the length of contract he’ll ultimately command. Cassavell projects that Greinke can be realistically relied upon for three more high-quality seasons before beginning to regress to above-average (but no longer elite) results, ultimately coming to the conclusion of a six-year, $153MM contract prediction.
The Astros haven’t been linked to David Price in free agent rumors, but that hasn’t stopped Dallas Keuchel from acting as a recruiter. “The baseball fan in me definitely would like to see [a rotation] upgrade but that’s not in my control. I know I’ve made pitches to David Price — it’s just the baseball fan in me at the end of the day,” Keuchel tells Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. “I just play. … I think (the bosses) know that we’re in a good position.” While Price may be a bit too expensive for the Astros, the team has certainly been connected to several other free agent arms as Houston looks to back up Keuchel with another first-rate starter. Here’s some more from around baseball…
- Two Marlins sources say that Jose Fernandez’s attitude is becoming a problem, with teammates annoyed that Fernandez “has become more entitled and cocky” due to perceived favoritism from owner Jeffrey Loria. Despite this issue, the team isn’t planning on trading Fernandez, though the Marlins know they’ll have a hard time retaining him once he hits free agency after the 2018 season.
- Also from Jackson, he reports that the Marlins have reached out to John Lackey, Scott Kazmir and Tim Lincecum, among other available starting pitchers. This is the first time we’ve heard of Miami’s interest in Lackey, though the veteran right-hander has been getting plenty of attention from several other clubs.
- If the Marlins change course on Fernandez and decide that a trade is necessary, the Dodgers, Red Sox, Royals, Twins and Astros could all be particularly good fits to acquire the star righty, ESPN’s David Schoenfield writes.
- Earlier this week, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told reporters (including the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes) that he’ll be looking to add a left-handed hitter to help balance out the Nats’ lineup. Starting pitching isn’t necessarily a big need, as Tanner Roark and Joe Ross look set to fill out the rotation behind Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, so while starting pitching isn’t necessarily a big need, Rizzo didn’t quite close the door on the subject. “I’m happy sliding Tanner and Joe in the rotation. With that said, you can never have enough good starting pitching,” Rizzo said.
- The Orioles haven’t swung any blockbuster trades under Dan Duquette’s watch, and CSNMidAtlantic.com’s Rich Dubroff doesn’t expect that to change this winter. Part of the issue this offseason is that the O’s don’t have much to offer in the way of prospects; Dubroff lists some of the notable minor league arms the Orioles have dealt in recent years, particularly three young starters traded within the last year just to address their right field hole (in the form of Travis Snider and then Gerardo Parra). As I noted in my Orioles Offseason Outlook piece, Baltimore has so many departing free agents that Duquette will need to be more aggressive than usual with trades or signings in order to keep the team competitive.
- The Yankees “fixate on high strikeout rates, low walk rates and high groundball percentages” for their starting pitchers, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman writes. With this model in mind, Sherman looks at ten pitchers that could be targeted by the Yankees in trade talks, though some will be harder to acquire than others since New York isn’t intending to deal top prospects like Aaron Judge.