Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune writes that Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has a hard-throwing lefty reliever — “a legit late-inning presence” — on his offseason wishlist. It’s not the first time that Dutton has reported Seattle’s interest in adding such an arm to its relief mix, and a flamethrowing southpaw would indeed be an imposing complement to sensational rookie Edwin Diaz late in the game. Previously, Dutton noted that the team’s search wasn’t likely to be focused on Aroldis Chapman, whose free-agent price tag will be staggering. The trade market may not be flush with readily available late-inning southpaws, though from a purely speculative standpoint I’d personally wonder if Seattle might match up with San Diego in a deal for either Brad Hand or Ryan Buchter. While neither possesses the velocity of a Chapman or Andrew Miller, each sat at better than 92 mph with his heater this season (92.8 mph for Hand) and delivered a breakout season. Hand proved capable of pitching multiple innings while also showing better control and ground-ball tendencies than his teammate — ultimately tossing 89 1/3 frames with a 2.92 ERA, 11.2 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 46.7 percent ground-ball rate.
A few more notes from around the American League…
- Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada suffered a thumb injury while batting in the Arizona Fall League recently, per Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald. Moncada didn’t suffer any fractures but has been out for a few days already and could undergo further testing today. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski tells Drellich that while it’s the same hand that Moncada has injured in the past, the issue isn’t believed to be serious at this time. Maintaining his health will be a key for Moncada as he looks to force his way back onto Boston’s roster in 2017. The 21-year-old struggled tremendously in his brief September call-up, collecting four hits and striking out 12 times in 20 plate appearances.
- Royals right-hander Kyle Zimmer completed a four-week throwing program as part of his rehab protocol following thoracic outlet syndrome surgery back in July, tweets MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan. The former top five overall pick has battled shoulder problems throughout his minor league career, though the hope is that the TOS operation can help Zimmer return to health. Selected fifth overall in 2012, Zimmer has been a mainstay on Top 100 prospect lists even as he’s battled through injuries, but he tossed just 5 2/3 innings this season and has logged just 222 1/3 total innings since the 2012 draft. Only 67 2/3 of those innings have come at the Double-A level, so even if the 25-year-old is healthy next year, he’ll need further seasoning in the minors before he can be considered a Major League option in Kansas City. Flanagan notes that Zimmer is expected to be ready for Spring Training.
- An Orioles official tells MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko that he doesn’t believe any of Wade Miley, Ubaldo Jimenez or Yovani Gallardo is well-suited to handle a bullpen role. Kubatko writes that while it’s something of an overstatement to imply that the O’s have a surplus of rotation arms, the team could consider dealing one of that trio this offseason. Each is a change-of-scenery candidate after struggling greatly this year, and Baltimore only has two open rotation spots behind Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy.