MLB rumors: News on free-agent contracts, trades and more
The off-season hot stove is warming up with trade rumors and free agency decisions coming down the pipeline. The rumor mill has picked back up after a brief lull when the passage of a new collective bargaining agreement was in question, but now that the new CBA is in place free-agent dealings will commence.
The biggest free agent taken off the market so far has been outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who re-signed with the New York Mets this week for four years and $100 million. Top-tier relievers Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman are still available.
Keep up to date on the latest MLB news and rumors below:
• There is a “legitimate chance” that Chris Sale is traded to the Washington Nationals, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports. Victor Robles and Lucas Giolito would go to the White Sox.
• The Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets are in talks, according to Ken Rosenthal. Baltimore prefers Curtis Granderson over Jay Bruce. The Mets like reliever Brad Brach.
• Bryce Harper has asked for a record contract extension from the Washington Nationals that would exceed 10 years in length and pay him about $400 million, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
• The Atlanta Braves remain in the running for Chris Sale but could also take a look at Sonny Gray of the Oakland Athletics, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
• The Houston Astros are reportedly out on Ivan Nova, believing his contract demands to be too expensive, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.
• The New York Yankees have checked in with the Minnesota Twins regarding second baseman Brian Dozier, according to FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman.
• Aroldis Chapman denies that he has requested any $100-million contact but confirms that he wants a six-year deal. "The only thing I have expressed is that I would like a six-year contract,” he told ESPN's Marly Rivera. I know that doesn't mean that I will get it, but that's what I would like to sign. There are rumors out there that I requested $100 million and that's not true at all. I believe he who deserves something, does not need to demand it."
• The Miami Marlins could be one of the teams that is interested in Chapman as finding a closer is their No. 1 priority. Miami has also checked in on lefthanded pitcher Doug Fister, according to Heyman.
• The Orioles reportedly made a four-year offer to Mark Trumbo, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The deal was in the $52 million to $55 million range before Trumbo's party countered with $75 to $80 million with a full no-trade clause and that's where the talks stalled. Last season, Trumbo led the majors with 47 home runs. The Texas Rangers also have interest in last year's home run leader, according to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan.
• The Seattle Mariners are listening to offers on Seth Smith, Dyan Divish of the Seattle Times reports.
• The Rangers and the Pittsburgh Pirates have engaged in some talks regarding a deal for Andrew McCutchen but no deal is close yet, according to Rosenthal. Heyman does not believe the Rangers will pay for the asking price.
• The Los Angeles Dodgers officially announced their three-year deal to re-sign veteran starter Rich Hill.
• The Chicago Cubs have inquired on Kansas City Royals closer Wade Davis for their bullpen.
• The San Francisco Giants have signed relief pitcher Mark Melancon to be their next closer, according to Rosenthal, inking him to a four-year, $62 million deal.
• The Toronto Blue Jays signed outfielder Steve Peace to a two-year deal worth $12.5 million, according to Olney. This could mean the end to Edwin Encarnacion's time with the Blue Jays is near, according to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi.
• The Cleveland Indians have some interest in Encarnacion as they continue to try to bring back first baseman Mike Napoli, according to Passan. They had interest in Carlos Beltran before he signed with the Astros and Matt Holliday before he signed with the Yankees.
• The Boston Red Sox may not be as aggressive in pursuing Encarnacion given that they have more than $190 million on their projected payroll for 2017, Olney notes.
• The Rangers have been keeping tabs on Encarnacion, according to ESPN's Jim Bowden.
• The Orioles are addressing outfield needs and could platoon players but general manager Dan Duquette has expressed interest in Michael Saunders, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.
• The Nationals are in on trade talks for both Sale and McCutchen. Washington may not be willing to deal prospect Victor Robles to Pittsburgh, according to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post.
• The Astros want to add an ace to their rotation, but infielder Alex Bregman is not going to be included in any deal, according to Olney. Bregman is under team control through 2022.
• The San Diego Padres are willing to deal infielder Yangervis Solarte, according to Rosenthal.
• Reliever Greg Holland will attract a lot of interest at the winter meetings, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.
• The Cincinnati Reds are apparently willing to deal centerfielder Billy Hamilton, and the Rangers could be willing to engage in discussions for him, according to Olney.
• The Toronto Blue Jays and free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler are “apart” in talks, according to Heyman. Heyman reports the St. Louis Cardinals remain in contention to sign Fowler.
• The Marlins are making a push for Chapman, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
• Trumbo remains a possibility for the Colorado Rockies, reports FoxSports.com's Jon Morosi.