It appears decision time is drawing nearer for one of baseball's most productive relief pitchers. Three-time All-Star Brad Hand is reportedly close to choosing his next team, and could sign by the end of the weekend, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
Hand, who turns 31 in March, led the majors with 16 saves last season and had a 2.05 ERA with 29 strikeouts, four walks and no home runs allowed in 22 innings. Cleveland declined Hand's $10 million option for 2021 and he went unclaimed on waivers, so it will be interesting to see how much money he's able to land on the open market.
Among the teams linked to Hand are the Nationals, Angels, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Mets, per MLB Networks' Jon Heyman. Hand has posted a 2.70 ERA in 320 innings since becoming a full-time relief pitcher in 2016.
Keep up with the latest news and rumors around MLB:
- Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon is reportedly a candidate to be traded, possibly over the next few days. Pittsburgh recently traded starter Joe Musgrove to the Padres in exchange for prospects. Taillon did not pitch in 2020 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. (Mark Feinsand, MLB.com)
- The Yankees are among the teams in trade talks with the Pirates about Taillon. (Jon Heyman, MLB Network)
- In what's been described as an unusual move, the Orioles reportedly offered to defer salaries on the one-year deals offered to arbitration-eligible players Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander. Baltimore pitched to defer about 25% of each player's 2021 salary to 2022 or 2023, though neither offer was accepted. Mancini settled for $4.75 million, while Santander is headed for an arbitration hearing, where he'll get either $2.475 million or $2.1 million in 2021. (Dan Connolly, The Athletic)
- The Tigers have signed left-handed pitcher Derek Holland to a minor-league deal, with plans to use him as a relief pitcher. Holland had a 6.86 ERA in 40.2 innings with the Pirates in 2020. (Jon Morosi, MLB Network)