MLB rumors: News from the Winter Meetings on free agency, trades
Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings have begun. The four days of talks in Nashville will undoubtedly produce a flurry of trades and transactions as agents seek contracts for their free-agent players and executives from all 30 teams convene to talk trades and league business. The rumor mill is already churning with big-name free agents such as Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist still on the market.
See the latest MLB news and rumors below. Check back for updates on the latest scoops.
• The Brewers are listening to offers for catcher Jonathan Lucroy, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Rosenthal adds that opposing teams “love” Lucroy’s contract, which is set to pay him $4 million in 2016 with a $5.5 million club option for 2017.
• Tigers general manager Al Avila told reporters on Monday that Detroit is no longer in the running for Yoenis Cespedes and Alex Gordon.
• The Mets met with the agents of pitcher Bartolo Colon on Monday, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Colon, who turns 43 in May, spent the last two seasons with New York.
• The Orioles and Darren O'Day have officially agreed to a four-year, $31 million contract, reports ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick.
• The Houston Astros are also looking for a closer, and are most interested in Andrew Miller and 2015 saves-leader Mark Melancon, reports Heyman. Trading for Nationals reliever Drew Storen is also a backup option for Houston. The Yankees’ asking price for Miller is “huge”, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
• The Yankees are also interested in free agent Asdrubal Cabrera to play second base, reports Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. Morosi also adds that the Yankees continue to insist they have a tight budget. Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports the Angels, White Sox and Mets are also interested in Cabrera.
• The Padres are reportedly drawing considerable interest in Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner and James Shields, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
• The Angels are telling teams that they would consider trading C.J. Wilson with the hope it would free up money to help other needs, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
• The White Sox have shown interest in Oakland third baseman Brett Lawrie, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
• The Cubs have reached an agreement with Trevor Cahill for a one-year, $4.25 million contract, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.
Trevor Cahill enjoyed his experience with the Cubs: He has agreed to return to them on a new contract.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 7, 2015
• The Mariners have acquired pitchers Wade Miley and Jonathan Aro from the Red Sox in exchange for Carson Smith and Roenis Elias.
• The Tampa Bay Rays have spoken to the Cubs about infielder Javier Baez, reports Rosenthal.
• The St. Louis Cardinals join the San Francisco Giants with interest in pitcher Mike Leake, reports Rosenthal. Leake, who was drafted out of Arizona State, reportedly prefers to be in the West and would take less money to play for the Diamondbacks and return to Arizona. Rosenthal adds that the Diamondbacks appear more focused on trading for a lower-end starter. However, Cotillo adds that Leake is still a possibility for the Diamondbacks.
• The New York Mets, Washington Nationals, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers are the leading teams looking to sign veteran second baseman Ben Zobrist, reports Heyman. Zobrist is looking for a four-year contract after playing for three different teams over the last two seasons. Olney reports that the Nats have also looked at Jimmy Rollins.
Nats slated to meet with Ben Zobrist tomorrow. He lives in Nashville, where Winter Meetings are held. Mets, Giants reportedly also pursuing.— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) December 7, 2015
• The Braves are in search of center fielder, but do not want to give up a draft pick for Dexter Fowler, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
• Free-agent slugger Yoenis Cespedes is reportedly seeking such a large deal he has priced the New York Mets out of the bidding, the Associated Press reports. Cespedes hit .287 with 17 home runs in 57 games for the Mets after being traded by the Tigers midway through the season. “It’s unlikely right now that he ends up a Met,” assistant general manager John Ricco said Sunday. “Right now, I still think he’s looking at a deal that would be north of what we would consider.”
• The Tigers are interested in Cespedes, and are also looking at former Royal Alex Gordon as options to round out their outfield, Heyman reports. Heyman adds that the Tigers are looking for a lefty to help their bullpen as well. However, Detroit’s general manager Al Avila told reporters that the team is out of talks involving Cespedes and Gordon.
• The Texas Rangers have talked with the Boston Red Sox about starting pitcher Joe Kelly and with the Tampa Bay Rays about Drew Smyly, reports MLB.com’s TR Sullivan. Kelly has a four-year career ERA of 3.82, but has finished with a 4+ ERA in each of the last two seasons. Smyly has a 3.24 ERA in four seasons with the Rays and Tigers. The Marlins and the Mariners have reportedly also shown interest in Kelly.
• The Royals have signed starting pitcher Chris Young to a two-year deal, reports Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com. Kansas City has also signed Joakim Soria to a three-year, $25 million contract, according to multiple reports. Both deals are pending physicals, and both pitchers could reportedly be used as starters, despite Soria spending most of his career as a reliever. Kansas City has not given up hope on Alex Gordon returning, although many teams have shown interest, reports Heyman.
• As one of the best remaining free-agent starting pitchers, Johnny Cueto plans to take his time in striking a deal with a new team and may not sign during the Winter Meetings, his agent, Bryce Dixon, told ESPN over the weekend. Cueto has a 3.30 ERA with 1,171 strikeouts over his eight-year career, all of which was spent with the Cincinnati Reds before he was traded to the Kansas City Royals at last season’s deadline.
• Despite denying reports that they are hoping to trade starter Jose Fernandez, the Miami Marlins have reportedly been in talks with the Los Angeles Dodgers and at least two other teams about the young pitcher. ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports the Marlins are asking for up to five players in return for Fernandez, who has a 2.40 career ERA over three seasons but underwent Tommy John surgery last year.
Sources say Yankees have also been in touch with Marlins about Jose Fernandez. And Yanks, Dodgers & Dbacks all doing background work on him— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 7, 2015
• David Price, who signed a seven-year, $217 million deal with the Red Sox last week, would have returned to the Blue Jays if Toronto had offered him a contract, his agent, Bo McKinnis, told MLB Network Radio on Sunday. Price had a 2.30 ERA through 11 starts for the Jays after being traded from the Detroit Tigers in July.
• Free-agent pitcher Cliff Lee is drawing interest from 15 different teams, according to Heyman.