The Cardinals haven’t checked in on Dallas Keuchel since initially showing interest in the veteran lefty near the start of the offseason, The Athletic’s Mark Saxon reports (subscription required). While president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said told Saxon and other reporters that his team has been focused mostly on pitching during the Winter Meetings, “the Cardinals have chosen instead to slow-play their hand,” Saxon writes, perhaps to the chagrin of agents trying to get St. Louis involved in the fast-moving pitching market. “For us, we’re OK being patient,” Mozeliak said of a rotation that currently consists of Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, Dakota Hudson, and the club’s biggest winter addition to date, the re-signed Adam Wainwright. This decent group and multiple fifth-starter candidates on hand give the Cardinals the comfort in waiting until later in the offseason to add pitchers once asking prices from both free agents and trade partners could begin to drop.
More from the free agent market….
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told reporters (including MASNsports.com’s Mark Zuckerman) that he had begun talks with Daniel Hudson’s agent about a possible return to the World Series champs. After being acquired in a trade deadline deal from the Blue Jays, Hudson had a huge role in stabilizing Washington’s season-long bullpen problems, posting a 1.44 ERA over 25 regular season innings and then a 3.72 ERA over 9 2/3 frames in the playoffs as the Nats’ closer. This great showing down the stretch has Hudson asking for a multi-year deal in free agency, Zuckerman hears from a source, though Zuckerman isn’t sure the Nationals will make such a commitment to a pitcher whose overall performance over the last few years is far more inconsistent. MLBTR did predict a multi-year contract for Hudson (two years, $12MM) while ranking him 28th on our list of the winter’s 50 best free agents.
- In terms of other pitching needs, Rizzo expressed confidence in internal arms. The general manager feels relievers Roenis Elias and Hunter Strickland will be better than 2020 due to improved health, and Joe Ross, Austin Voth, Erick Fedde will seemingly provide all the competition necessary for the fifth starter’s job. “I think we’re more than satisfied with our rotation,” Rizzo said, and with good cause, considering the Nationals’ starting four of Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin, Anibal Sanchez, and the re-signed Stephen Strasburg.
- With multiple pitchers flying off the board, the rotation-needy Blue Jays “began to engage more aggressively with” Tanner Roark, Josh Lindblom, and Rick Porcello over the last two days, Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi writes. The result was one miss as Lindblom signed with the Brewers, one success in the form of a two-year, $24MM deal with Roark, and one result to be determined as Porcello continues to weigh his options. Toronto is also looking towards relief pitchers, as Davidi reports that Hector Rondon has received some interest.
- Davidi’s piece also contains some interesting details on two other Blue Jays targets who signed elsewhere. The Jays met with Blake Treinen’s agent prior to Treinen’s one-year, $10MM pact with the Dodgers. Perhaps more surprisingly, it seems the Blue Jays put significant effort into a pursuit of Mike Moustakas, as GM Ross Atkins and manager Charlie Montoyo both visited Moustakas at his home. Toronto wasn’t known to be an ardent suitor for Moustakas, though his left-handed power bat and multi-positional infield ability would have made him a quality upgrade for the Jays’ lineup. Moustakas wound up surpassing all expectations by landing four years and $64MM in a deal with the Reds.