Hot Stove Tracker: Dodgers in, Angels out in trade talks for Indians' Corey Kluber

It’s Hot Stove season in baseball, meaning the offseason rumors are flying around. We’ll give you all the signings, trades and rumors you need to know in this post. Keep coming back every day.

Corey Kluber drawing interest on trade market

One of the most talked about names on the trade market this week has been two-time AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber. The long-time Cleveland Indians ace has been made available in talks and reports on Saturday suggested several teams were showing interest.

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However, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, one main suitor has also dropped out of the race,.

As for the Los Angeles Dodgers, they are now among the teams in the mix.

MLB’s Network’s Jon Heyman says the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers are involved as well.

Kluber's 2019 was basically a lost season thanks to a slow start — 5.80 ERA in first seven starts — and a season-ending forearm fracture suffered on May 1. In the five previous seasons, Kluber had been durable and at times dominant, posting a 2.85 ERA over 160 starts.

Heyman previously suggested teams could wait until spring training to gauge Kluber’s health. At this point the market seems to be moving too fast for that to hold true.

Blue Jays looking to sign Hyun-Jin Ryu

The Toronto Blue Jays have been quiet this offseason outside of their two-year, $24 million deal with Tanner Roark. That could change soon though based on the latest reports.

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, Toronto is making a serious run at free agent left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu.

The National League Cy Young runner-up showed his ceiling in 2019 thanks to a relatively healthy season. He wasn't able to make every scheduled start, but he made the most of the 29 he did make.

Ryu, 32, finished with a 14-5 record while posting a league-best 2.32 ERA. If signed by Toronto, he would immediately slot in as the team's ace. The Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom Ryu has pitched for his first six MLB seasons, and Minnesota Twins, are other teams reportedly interested.

Padres checking on top tier pitchers

The San Diego Padres seem prepared to exhaust every option in their pursuit of a top flight starting pitcher.

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports the Padres are exploring a potential trade for a Cleveland Indians starting pitcher. That interest likely centers around two-time AL Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber. There have been multiple rumors surrounding Kluber this week. The Los Angeles Angels are known to be considering trading for him as well, though Heyman thinks Kluber will need a healthy spring training to improve his value.

The Padres are also reportedly pursuing free agent left-handers Madison Bumgarner and Dallas Keuchel.

Dec. 13: Marlins among teams to meet with Yasiel Puig

Interest in free-agent outfielder Yasiel Puig appears to have picked up this week.

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Miami Marlins — yes, you read that correctly — are known to have held a meeting with Puig at the winter meetings in San Diego. But they weren't alone.

Multiple mystery teams leaves a wide range of possibilities. The Marlins are an undeniably interesting suitor given Puig's rocky past relationship with current Miami manager Don Mattingly. Beyond that, the Marlins aren't typically big players in free agency. They've made it known an outfield power hitter is a priority, which indicates they’re willing to spend there.

Puig, 29, split the 2019 season between the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians. He finished with a .267/.327/.458 batting line to go along with 24 total home runs and 84 RBIs. Only two of those home runs came in his 49 games with Cleveland.

Cubs bring back Morrow on minors deal

The Chicago Cubs have brought back a former closer Brandon Morrow on a minor-league deal, in hopes that they can get a bargain on a return to form. ESPN’s Jesse Rogers had the news:

Morrow, 35, spent the last two years with the Cubs — or at least getting paychecks from them. He was injured midway through 2018 and hasn’t pitched since then. Back in 2017, he signed a two-year, $21 million deal with a third-year option that the Cubs bought out at $3 million for 2020. Now they’re bringing him back on a team-friendly deal in hopes that he can find his mojo again. He was an effective reliever for the Dodgers in 2017 and for the Padres the two seasons before that. He did save 22 games for the Cubs in 2018 before being sidetracked by biceps and elbow injuries.

Brewers add veteran Brett Anderson to rotation

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced a one-year deal with veteran left-hander Brett Anderson. It's a guaranteed $5 million deal, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. Anderson can earn up to $2 million in incentives.

It's the latest move aimed at bolstering the Brewers rotation. Milwaukee also signed right-hander Josh Lindblom during the winter meetings.

Anderson, who will be entering his age-32 season, has been limited by injuries throughout his career. That includes two back surgeries. When healthy, he's always flashed promise. That was the case in 2019. In 31 starts for the Oakland Athletics, Anderson posted a 3.89 ERA. He won’t be a high strikeout pitcher, but the Brewers would gladly take a repeat of his 2019 season in 2020.

Rays sign Japanese slugger Tsutsugo

The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a deal with Japanese slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, who hit 139 home runs in his last four seasons with the Yokohama Bay Stars of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has the details:

Tsutsugo is 28 and has played left field, first base and third base throughout his career, but most recently has played a lot of outfield. He could move around for the Rays, and also spend time at DH. His best season in Japan came in 2016 when he hit 44 homers with 110 RBIs and had a .322 batting average. At just $12 million over two years, he could be a bargain for the Rays if his bat catches up to major-league pitching.

Dec. 12: Red Sox add left-hander Martin Perez

The Boston Red Sox were active on the final day of the winter meetings, reaching a pair of notable deals for the 2020 season.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports the Red Sox have a one-year agreement with Martin Perez. The veteran left-hander will earn $6 million in 2020. The deal includes a $6.5 million club option for 2021.

Perez, 28, pitched reliably in his first six seasons with the Texas Rangers, but has struggled over the last two, posting a 5.49 ERA in 250.2 innings. He went 10-7 with the Minnesota Twins last season.

The timing is interesting coming off reports that the Red Sox are shopping David Price. Perez could presumably step into the void should Price be traded this winter.

Red Sox also sign infielder Jose Peraza

According to Robert Murray, who previously worked for The Athletic, the Red Sox are also in agreement with free-agent infielder Jose Peraza on a one-year deal.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports the deal will be worth close to $3 million plus incentives.

Once considered a top prospect for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Peraza has been up and down since being traded to the Cincinnati Reds before the 2016 season. He was non-tendered by the Reds after hitting .239/.285/.346 with six home runs in 141 games in 2019.

The 25-year-old provides versatility in the field. He’s spent time at second base, third base and shortstop. Last season he even played some outfield. That’s worth noting with Boston reportedly looking to trade Jackie Bradley Jr. If Peraza’s offense comes around, he could be a bargain.

Yankees bring back Brett Gardner on one-year deal

The New York Yankees are bringing back outfielder Brett Gardner for at least one more season. The team re-signed the 36-year-old Gardner to a one-year, $12.5 million deal Thursday, according to George A. King III of the New York Post.

The deal also contains a $10 million option for a second season, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Last year, Gardner hit .251/.325/.503, with 28 home runs in 550 plate appearances.

Mets sign Rick Porcello to one-year deal

The New York Mets believe they have a bounce-back candidate in Rick Porcello. The team agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal with Porcello on Thursday, according to Jon Heyman.

Porcello, 30, posted a 5.52 ERA over 174 1/3 innings with the Boston Red Sox in 2019. He’ll look to rebuild his value with the Mets so he can receive a more lucrative pay day next offseason. Throughout most of his career, Porcello has been a dependable, mid-rotation starter who can give a team innings.

With the signing, the Mets now have six starting pitchers. The team could look to move one of them in a deal that would give them salary relief, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Dec. 10: Angels have 'expressed interest' in Corey Kluber

The Los Angeles Angels quickly moved on to Plan B after missing out on Gerrit Cole in free agency. On Wednesday, they agreed to a seven-year, $245 million contract with Anthony Rendon.

According to The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya, the Angels might now turn to the trade market to land a starting pitcher, with two-time Cy Young award winner and current Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber appearing to be their top choice.

Joel Sherman from the New York Post says the Angels also have interest in Cleveland right-hander Carlos Carrasco.

No deal appears imminent, but it is clear that Los Angeles is seeking a frontline starter to help bolster the starting rotation. The Angels starting five has been weak spot for several years and needs to be addressed if the franchise hopes to take a step forward in 2020.

Dodgers have deal with Blake Treinen

One of the top relievers available in free agency has found a new home.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports the Los Angeles Dodgers have reached a one-year, $10 million agreement with former Oakland Athletics closer Blake Treinen.

It’s a solid bounce back move for the Dodgers after missing out on Gerrit Cole. The bullpen is a greater area of need for Los Angeles anyway after several key relievers faltered down the stretch in 2019.

Treinen, 31, is one year removed from an All-Star season as the A’s closer. In 80.1 innings, he posted a minuscule 0.78 ERA while notching 38 saves. He lost the closer’s role in 2019, finishing with a disappointing 4.91 ERA in 58.2 innings. The hope for LA is that he’ll settle somewhere in the middle in 2020.

Blue Jays agree to deal with Tanner Roark

The Toronto Blue Jays haven't been heard from much this offseason, but they made a notable move Wednesday after agreeing to terms with free-agent pitcher Tanner Roark.

MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports it's a two-year, $24 million deal.

Roark, 33, spent most of his career with the Washington Nationals before moving to the Cincinnati Reds and Oakland Athletics last season. He posted an overall 4.35 ERA with 158 strikeouts and 51 walks over 165 1/3 innings. The Blue Jays rotation is ripe with opportunity as the team continues a long-term rebuild. If Roark shows well pitching in the AL East he could become a valuable trade asset in July or next winter.

Brewers sign reliever Josh Lindbloom

The Milwaukee Brewers added another piece to their pitching staff on Wednesday. Veteran right-hander Josh Lindbloom has agreed to a three-year, $9.1 million deal, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Lindblom, 32, last pitched in MLB with the Pirates in 2017. He spent the last two seasons pitching in Korea, where he successfully transitioned from reliever to starter. In 363.1 innings, he posted a 2.68 ERA and a 346/67 K/BB ratio. He figures to be a key member of Milwaukee's rotation in 2020.

Rockies re-sign reliever Scott Oberg

The Colorado Rockies are another team that’s been quiet this winter. That changed Wednesday when they re-signed veteran reliever Scott Oberg.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal has the details.

Oberg, 29, has been Colorado’s most reliable reliever over the last two seasons, finishing with a 2.45 ERA in 2018 and a 2.25 ERA last season. That’s a bit troubling for Colorado given the money invested in Wade Davis, Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw. Oberg missed the final six weeks of 2019 due to a blood clot in his right arm, but the Rockies clearly feel he’ll be able to bounce back.

Mets nearing deal with Michael Wacha

The New York Mets have found their Zack Wheeler replacement, according to reports. They’re close to a deal with former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was first with the deal and Yahoo Sports’ Matt Ehalt confirmed they’re finishing the final details.

Wacha, 28, has a 3.91 ERA after seven seasons in St. Louis. It’s been an up-and-down career for Wacha, who was a hot-shot rookie during the Cardinals’ 2013 NL pennant-winning season. He’s never fully lived up that hype. In New York, he’ll be part of a deep pitching staff with Jacod deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz.

Dodgers, Indians in ‘serious’ trade talks for Lindor

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians are having “serious” trade talks about Francisco Lindor, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The two sides have talked about Lindor in the past, as he approaches free agency.

While the Dodgers could be a good destination for Lindor before he hits free agency in 2022, there also seem like barriers here. The Dodgers haven’t expressed much interest in trading their top youngsters like Lux and May and the Indians haven’t wanted to part with Indians on the cheap.

Dodgers don’t like their chances for Anthony Rendon

Speaking of the Dodgers and their infield, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that L.A. doesn’t like its chances for Anthony Rendon, now the top free agent on the board.

The Rangers remain the favorites for Rendon, but it’ll be interesting to see if the “all-in” Angels decide to go big there now that they’ve missed out on Gerrit Cole.

Dec. 11: Dodgers turn attention to Madison Bumgarner

After missing out on top pitching target Gerrit Cole, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal says the Los Angeles Dodgers have turned their attention to a long-time rival.

That’s right, Madison Bumgarner, the former ace of the San Francisco Giants, now sits atop the Dodgers wishlist.

The Dodgers have been connected to several free agents this winter, which is not unusual. Many believe Anthony Rendon is a high priority for them. However, the Bumgarner report indicates that Los Angeles would like to add another proven starter to the mix. It’s not necessarily a need for the Dodgers even if they lose Hyun-Jin Ryu, but it’s clearly a want.

Considering that Bumgarner will come cheaper than Cole, it could allow Los Angeles to make multiple moves and add impact players to both the rotation and lineup. We could know LA’s next move before the winter meetings are over.

White Sox to acquire Nomar Mazara from Rangers

The Chicago White Sox are hoping a change of scenery will help Nomar Mazara find his game.

According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Texas Rangers agreed to trade the 24-year-old outfielder on Tuesday night. Outfield prospect Steele Walker is going to Texas in return.

Since debuting at age 21, Mazara has struggled living up to the incredible hype that preceded his MLB debut. In four seasons, he’s compiled a .261/.320/.435 batting line. More shockingly, he’s never hit more than 20 home runs despite possessing immense power. His season homer totals have been 20, 20, 20 and 19 in 2019.

Mazara should take over as Chicago’s every day right fielder.

Astros 'contemplating' Carlos Correa trade, Gerrit Cole offer

The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels have been front and center in the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes. However, it wouldn't be the winter meetings without a mystery team or two entering the mix.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Cole's most recent team, the Houston Astros, has "contemplated" ways to bring back their co-ace. In a story that seems related, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Astros might consider trading star shortstop Carlos Correa to ease a potential payroll crunch.

Among the ideas they have entertained in an attempt to alleviate their payroll crunch, according to major-league sources: A trade of shortstop Carlos Correa, the player they selected with the top pick of the 2012 draft.

No deal appears close, and the timing might not be right for such a move, considering that most teams are set at shortstop and Correa’s trade value is down. But at some point, the Astros will need to make difficult decisions, and Correa might be the odd man out.

As Sherman notes, signing Cole would push the Astros over the second luxury tax threshold of $228 million. Trading Correa, who is arbitration eligible through the 2021 season, would remove a potentially large salary from the books. Correa made $5 million in 2019 and would be due a raise.

At this point, bringing back Cole seems like a long shot for the Astros given the competition they’re facing. But it sounds like they are willing to do some serious maneuvering if it becomes a real possibility.

Adam Jones picks Japan

After 14 MLB season in which he ranged from solid to All-Star, Adam Jones is heading overseas. The former Orioles outfielder announced Tuesday that he will play for the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball.

Jones hit .260.313/.414 with 16 homers with the Arizona Diamondbacks last season, which came after 11 years with the Orioles.

Twin announce Pineda and Alex Avila signings

The Twins announced the first two significant moves of their offseason Saturday, signing catcher Alex Avila and starting pitcher Michael Pineda.

Pineda signed a two-year, $20 million contract, according to Dan Hayes of The Athletic. For Avila, the Twins outbid the catcher’s own father, Tigers general manager Al Avila, with a one-year contract worth $4.25 million, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

David Price being targeted by multiple teams

Another big-name starting pitcher could be on the trade block.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, veteran left-hander David Price has drawn interest from multiple teams as the Boston Red Sox seek ways to cut their payroll.

As Passan notes, Price has three years and $96 million remaining on the seven-year, $217 million deal he signed prior to the 2016 season. That contract made Price the highest paid pitcher in MLB history until Stephen Strasburg’s seven-year, $245 million deal on Monday.

Price, 33, finished 2019 with a 4.28 ERA over 22 starts.

The Red Sox had the highest payroll in MLB in 2019 at $229.1 million, but failed to make the postseason. Controlling owner John Henry has since made it clear he wants the team below the competitive balance tax threshold for the 2020 season.

J.D. Martinez put the team in a crunch when he opted to fulfill the final three years of his contract. The Red Sox still owe him $62 million. The Red Sox have reportedly considered trading outfielder Mookie Betts, who will be a free agent following the 2020, and are actively shopping Jackie Bradley Jr. at the winter meetings, according to reports.

Giants add two veterans to roster

While the baseball world digested the Philadelphia Phillies signing of Didi Gregorius, the San Francisco Giants were busy making two notable additions of their own.

Free agent pitcher Kevin Gausman reached a one-year agreement with San Francisco, according to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports the deal is worth $9 million.

Minutes before that, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reported the Giants acquired infielder Zack Cozart and prospect Will Wilson from the Los Angeles Angels for cash considerations.

Both moves have been confirmed by the Giants.

Gausman, 28, had a rough go in 2019, posting a 5.72 ERA over 102 1/3 innings between Atlanta and Cincinnati. He was switched to a relief role late in the season and then non-tendered by the Reds. It’s expected he will return to starting in San Francisco.

Cozart has two years remaining on a three-year, $38 million contract. The prevailing belief is San Francisco made the trade more so to add Will Wilson, who was the Angels first round draft pick in 2019. The young infielder is a highly regarded prospect.

The trade will clear $12 million off the Angels payroll as well. That is significant considering their pursuit of elite free agents like Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon. The Giants have also been connected to some high priced free agents. These additions, while expensive, could serve as insurance in case a bigger deal doesn’t come together.

Nationals have inquired about Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant

The Washington Nationals may lose Anthony Rendon, but the team isn’t going to sit by idly if that happens. The Nats have reportedly made an “initial inquiry” to the Chicago Cubs for third baseman Kris Bryant, according to Jon Morosi of

The 27-year-old Bryant is one of the biggest names on the market this offseason. The 3-time All Star and 2016 National League MVP is being dangled by the Cubs so the team can cut salary. Bryant hit .282/.382/.521, with 31 home runs, last season. He’s under team control through 2021, though that could change depending on the result of a grievance Bryant followed years ago. Teams will likely wait until the grievance is resolved before making serious offers for Bryant.

Dec. 9: Gerrit Cole will likely shatter record contract

The Washington Nationals re-signing Stephen Strasburg to a record-breaking seven-year, $245 million contract for a pitcher was music to the ears of free agent Gerrit Cole.

It was already expected that Cole would become the highest paid pitcher in MLB history when he signs this winter. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the numbers could well surpass $300 million, which would shatter the previous record of $217 million held by David Price.

It's been reported all week that the New York Yankees were prepared to offer Cole a record-setting deal, with some adding New York wouldn't be denied in its pursuit. That's certainly going to be tested now given the money Strasburg received. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels are also reportedly in the mix to sign the dominant right-hander.

Gerrit Cole is about to get paid. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Gerrit Cole is about to get paid. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Cole, 29, is coming off his best season in MLB. In 33 starts, he produced a league-best 2.50 ERA and an Astros single-season franchise record of 326 strikeouts. He also had a 25-start unbeaten streak that was snapped in the World Series.

Rangers sign Joely Rodríguez

The Texas Rangers have been busy adding pitching depth this winter. In addition to Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports they’re also signed left-hander Joely Rodríguez to a two-year, $5.5 million deal.

The 28-year-old posted a 1.85 ERA over 90 appearances in Japan the last two seasons.

He made 38 appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies between 2016 and 2017. His 5.40 ERA during that time was not notable. However, his 58.3 groundball rate did open some eyes. Rodríguez also spent time in Triple A with the Rangers in 2017, so there’s familiarity here on both sides.

Red Sox actively trying to trade Jackie Bradley Jr.

There's been speculation that the Boston Red Sox would seek to trade former MVP Mookie Betts this winter. While nothing seems to be cooking on that front right now, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe is reporting another Red Sox outfielder, Jackie Bradley Jr., could be on the move.

One of the Red Sox main goals this winter is to reduce payroll. They’re about $10 million above the competitive balance tax threshold at the present time. With Bradley expected to receive at least that much in his final year of arbitration eligibility, trading him would help in that department.

Bradley disappointed at the plate in 2019, hitting .225/.317/.421 with 21 home runs and 62 RBIs in 567 plate appearances. He does remain a strong defender in center field, which is sure to appeal to some teams.

Brewers have interest in Didi Gregorius

Having already lost key free agents like Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas this winter, the Milwaukee Brewers are reportedly looking for pieces to help boost the offense.

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, that includes free agent shortstop Didi Gregorius.

The soon-to-be 30-year-old veteran was limited to 82 games last season after undergoing offseason Tommy John surgery. He never quite looked like himself, hitting just .238/.276/.441 with 16 home runs and 61 RBIs in 344 plate appearances. That's why many believe he'll seek a one-year deal to help rebuild his value.

Milwaukee is currently very thin on the infield with Keston Huira and Orlando Arcia as the only proven options. That makes Gregorius a logical fit. The Cincinnati Reds are also reportedly in the mix.

Nationals not closing door on Anthony Rendon

Before the winter meetings began, Nationals managing principal owner Mark Lerner claimed his team wouldn’t be able to afford re-signing both Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg in free agency.

However, now that Strasburg has been locked in to a seven-year, $245 million contract that will allow the team to defer money until after the contract expires, general manager Mike Rizzo believes their could be a path to bring back Rendon as well.

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

“I don’t see this in any way hindering us from the elite players in the game,” Rizzo said. “When you look at those comments and then you look at the structure of this particular deal, Mark realizes there are ways to fit players in.

“There are ways to field a championship roster. The resources have always been there. I don’t expect that to change.”

The Nationals have had a top seven payroll in four of the last five seasons, so Rizzo is correct about the availability of resources.

The question now is just how large Rendon's market will be. He's reportedly drawing significant interest from the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers. That could still push his price tag beyond what the Nationals are willing to pay, but for now it seems foolish to count them out.

Adam Jones could he headed to Japan

The market for veteran outfielder Adam Jones is apparently not developing as he’d hoped. According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the 34-year-old is now considering a move to Japan.

Jones also struggled to find a deal last season, waiting until March to sign a one-year, $3 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He appeared in 137 games for Arizona, hitting .260/.313/.414 with 16 homers and 67 RBIs over 528 plate appearances. That’s right in line with his final season in Baltimore one year earlier.

As a five-time MLB All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner, Jones would immediately become one of the biggest stars we’ve seen make the late-career move to Japan.

Dec. 8: Yankees to make record-setting offer to Gerrit Cole

All signs have pointed to the New York Yankees making Gerrit Cole their primary focus in free agency this winter. Terms such as “won’t be denied” have been thrown around to describe their determination to get a deal done.

According to Bob Klapisch of the New York Times, those words will be backed up by the Yankees first offer to Cole. Klapisch reports the Yankees are prepared to put a record-setting seven-year, $245 million contract on the table.

As noted, the deal would surpass Zack Greinke’s $34.4 million annual average and David Price’s overall $217 million contract as the highest ever for a pitcher. It’s expected the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels will make initial offers at this week’s winter meetings.

Dec. 7: Mets are talking to Rick Porcello

The New York Mets are expected to have a lot more spending money once Steven A. Cohen becomes the franchise’s majority owner. In the meantime, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen is looking to make a mark this winter by targeting a former Cy Young award winner in free agency.

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, that pitcher is Rick Porcello.

Porcello's 22 wins and 3.15 ERA were enough to net him the Cy Young in 2016, which was his second season with the Boston Red Sox. The three seasons since have looked a lot like the seven seasons prior in Detroit — inconsistent and uneven. The 30-year-old right-hander is coming off his worst season after posting a 5.52 ERA over 174.1 innings.

Even if the 2016 is an outlier, Porcello does have one thing going for him — his durability. He’s made at least 27 starts in each of his 11 MLB seasons. The price tag isn’t expected to be high either as Porcello attempts to rebuild his value. As Heyman notes, a move to the National League could help in that regard.

If the Mets land Porcello, he would slide into the rotation spot vacated when Zack Wheeler signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Yankees won't be denied in pursuit of Gerrit Cole

If the New York Yankees don't sign Gerrit Cole this winter, it will undoubtedly go down as a major disappointment for the organization and the fans.

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Yankees have put their "total focus" on signing the free agent right-hander and are determined to not be denied.

This backs up Thursday's report from ESPN's Jeff Passan, which stated Yankees ownership has given general manager Brian Cashman permission to offer a record-setting contract if necessary to sign the 29-year-old flamethrower. As Heyman notes, several big-spending teams are also in pursuit of Cole, which could send his price tag skyrocketing.

On Saturday, Passan added we’re nearing the point where teams will make their initial offers to Cole.

Dec. 7: Trevor Rosenthal reunites with former manager in KC

Trevor Rosenthal was never expected to be a hot commodity this offseason, but he may have landed in the one spot best suited to turn his career around.

The Kansas City Royals announced on Saturday that they signed the 29-year-old right-hander to a minor league deal on Saturday that includes a non-roster invitation to spring training. Notably, Rosenthal will be reunited with manager Mike Matheny, who he played under with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Rosenthal is well known for his historically bad 2019 season at this point — infinite ERAs are hard to forget — but he’s not that far removed from being one of the game’s dominant relievers. Before missing the 2018 season due to Tommy John surgery, Rosenthal saved 121 games over the previous six seasons with a 2.99 ERA and 435 strikeouts in 325 innings.

The Royals could use all the bullpen help they can get, as well. Their 5.07 ERA last season ranked 27th in baseball, and they only had one reliever with at least 40 innings and an ERA under 4.

Dec. 6: Rangers reach two-year agreement with Jordan Lyles

The Texas Rangers will make another notable addition to their starting rotation after reaching two-year, $16 million agreement with veteran right-hander Jordan Lyles.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal was the first to report a deal was reached. ESPN’s Jeff Passan confirmed the financial details.

Lyles will join Kyle Gibson — who was signed to a three-year, $30 million deal earlier in the offseason — as the newest Rangers hurlers. The rotation is also expected to include Mike Minor and Lance Lynn.

It was a tale of two halves for the 29-year-old right-hander in 2019. Lyles posted a 5.36 ERA in 17 starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates before turning his season completely around after a trade to the Milwaukee Brewers. In 11 starts for Milwaukee, Lyles went 7-1 with a 2.45 ERA.

Phillies make Anthony Rendon top priority

The Philadelphia Phillies are prepared to keep spending after signing Zack Wheeler to a five-year, $118 million.

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Phillies would even be willing to exceed the league's luxury tax threshold if it means signing Anthony Rendon.

Though the Phillies have not yet held a face-to-face meeting with Rendon, Nightengale's sources tell him that signing the free-agent third baseman has become the team's top priority. It's also noted that Josh Donaldson could be the Phillies fallback option if they fail to sign Rendon.

From USA Today Sports:

Rendon, the marquee position player on the free-agent market, is expected to demand a contract that pays close to the eight-year, $260 million extension Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado received last spring. It may be a shorter deal, but likely would be for at least $35 million a year. Donaldson, who will be 34 on Sunday, would come at a cheaper cost, but he also likely will receive at least a three- or four-year contract paying him more than $25 million a season.

The Phillies have remained aggressive after handing out big deals the last two offseasons. That obviously includes Bryce Harper's 13-year, $330 million deal.

Signing Rendon would also take another key player away from the division rival Washington Nationals. The Nationals were able to thrive without Harper, winning the franchise's first-ever World Series championship in 2019. But it would be a much tougher road without Rendon.

Dec. 5: Yankees make Gerrit Cole their top priority

Money will not be an issue in the New York Yankees pursuit of Gerrit Cole.

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Yankees' ownership has given general manager Brian Cashman permission to offer a record-setting deal if that's what it takes to bring Cole on board.

Passan adds that Yankees executives believe the bidding war will go beyond $250 million, but that signing Cole is clearly the team's biggest priority this winter.

The commitment from owner Hal Steinbrenner to strongly pursue Cole has emboldened the Yankees, who sent GM Brian Cashman, manager Aaron Boone, pitching coach Matt Blake and longtime Yankees star Andy Pettitte to their meeting in California. The attention paid by New York to embracing modern pitching analysis could appeal to Cole, whose thirst for knowledge and intelligence are among the qualities teams appreciate about him the most, according to sources.

This development would seemingly position the Yankees as favorites to sign Cole.

It was previously unclear how much the Yankees would be willing to spend in free agency this winter. For Cole, they will dig deep. For everyone else, it remains to be seen.

Padres to acquire outfielder Tommy Pham from Rays

Another busy day on the MLB Hot Stove was capped with a trade.

The San Diego Padres will acquire veteran outfielder Tommy Pham from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for slugging outfielder Hunter Renfroe and infield prospect Xavier Edwards.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal was the first to report a deal was close. ESPN’s Jeff Passan says the deal is agreed to and adds that another prospect will be headed to the Rays.

The deal will be finalized once the involved parties pass their physical.

Pham, 31, is coming off a solid campaign in which he produced a .273/.369/.450 batting line to go along with 21 home runs and 25 stolen bases. The Padres covet Pham’s ability to get on base, which is an area they struggled with in 2019. Pham is expected to bat second, between Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado.

Renfroe, 27, is expected to bring a power boost to the Rays lineup. He's slugged 85 home runs over the last three seasons, but only has a .231 batting average during that time. Edwards figures to be the more intriguing name in the deal. The 20-year-old shortstop is the No. 5 prospect in San Diego's highly regarded minor league system.

Twins re-sign Michael Pineda for two years

The Minnesota Twins are bringing back a key member of their starting rotation.

Veteran right-hander Michael Pineda has agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal, according to Pierre Noujaim of Fox 9 Minneapolis.

The Athletic’s Dan Hayes adds that the deal is pending a physical.

Pineda, 30, received a 60-game suspension on Sept. 7 for violating the league’s PED policy. The suspension will keep him out for the first five weeks of the 2020 season.

Due to injuries and a 2014 suspension for having pine tar on his neck, Pineda has only completed one full season since his debut in 2011. He most recently missed the entire 2018 season with a torn meniscus in his right knee. He was pretty effective in 26 starts last season, posting a 4.01 ERA.

If, and it’s a big if, Pineda can stay on the field for the duration of this contract, it could be a nice bargain for Minnesota.

Mets acquire Jake Marisnick from Astros

The New York Mets first move since the announcement that the Wilpons will sell the team was ... underwhelming. New York reportedly traded two prospects in exchange for Houston Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick on Thursday, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The 28-year-old Marisnick hit .233/.289/.411, with 10 home runs, over 318 plate appearances with Houston in 2019. He’s been used as a fourth outfielder throughout his career, and is regarded for playing strong defense. Marisnick is expected to make around $3 million in 2020. He’ll be a free agent at the end of the season.

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen praised Marisnick’s defensive ability in a release, saying Marisnick is “an elite defender who is an incredibly smart base runner.”

In exchange for Marisnick, Houston received pitcher Blake Taylor and outfielder Kenedy Corona, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Neither player ranked highly in the Mets’ system.

Brewers pick up Omar Narvaez after trade with M’s

The Milwaukee Brewers have found Yasmani Grandal’s replacement. Two weeks after Grandal signed a four-year, $73 million deal with the Chicago White Sox, the Brewers have acquired Omar Narvaez in a trade with the Seattle Mariners.

Narvaez, 27, is regarded as an offense-first catcher. He hit .278/.353/.460, with 22 home runs, in 2019. Narvaez’s wRC+ — an advanced stat that measures offensive performance — wasn’t much worse than Grandal’s last season. Grandal had a 121 wRC+. Narvaez came in at 119.

The two players differ greatly when it comes to defense, however. By many measures, Grandal is considered one of the best defensive catchers in baseball. Narvaez is viewed as one of the worst.

Narvaez is projected to make around $3 million next season. He’s under team control through 2022, giving the Brewers multiple years to turn Narvaez’s defense around.

Dec. 4: Yankees meet with Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg’s free agency tour made a notable stop on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old right-hander reportedly paid a visit to the New York Yankees in a meeting that's Mark Feinsand says went 'well.'

The starting pitching market started moving Wednesday after Zack Wheeler agreed to a five-year, $118 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies and Cole Hamels landed a one-year, $18 million contract with the Atlanta Braves.

That news, coupled with Strasburg's meeting, doesn't necessarily mean a deal is imminent. But it does indicate the process is moving much quicker than last winter.

Strasburg is considered the second best free agent pitcher available behind Gerrit Cole. According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees held a four-hour meeting with Cole on Tuesday in which he declared there would be “no west coast bias” in his decision.

The Yankees are clearly doing their due diligence. Though it’s unknown how much money they'll be willing to spend to land a premiere free agent.

The Los Angeles Angels are hoping they can turn around Dylan Bundy. (Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Angels are hoping they can turn around Dylan Bundy. (Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Angels trade for Dylan Bundy

The Los Angeles Angels, hungry to bolster their pitching staff this offseason, are hoping they can turn around pitcher Dylan Bundy, the once hyped Baltimore Orioles prospect.

The two teams have swung a deal for Bundy, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports:

Bundy, 27, is a former No. 4-overall pick who was pegged as the Orioles’ ace of the future at one time. Injuries slowed down his development and he’s never been all that great in the big leagues. In five seasons, he has a 38-45 record with a 4.67 ERA. Never has he finished a season with a sub-4.00 ERA. In 2018, he lost the most games in MLB and gave up the most homers.

He’ll get a fresh start now in Anaheim with new manager Joe Maddon and new pitching coach Mickey Callaway. The good thing is that Bundy is still young and could have a positive future ahead in a new uniform if he can reclaim some of what made him a top prospect.

Los Angeles Dodgers meet with Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole figures to command the biggest payday on the free-agent market this year, and he’s already met with one of the teams that will have no problem affording him, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times’ Jorge Castillo reports that Cole and the Dodgers have met with Cole, as they try to square away their offseason plans:

The Dodgers met with the star right-hander, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, as they continue to evaluate their options to improve a roster coming off another disappointing finish. The Angels and New York Yankees reportedly have also met with Cole.

An Orange County native, the 29-year-old Cole was raised minutes from Angel Stadium and attended UCLA but grew up a Yankees fan.

The Times also reports that the Dodgers have met with other top free agents such as Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon, both of whom could also be fits in L.A.

The Dodgers have also met with Stephen Strasburg, the other top-tier right-hander on the market, and third baseman Anthony Rendon this offseason. They also have interest in third baseman Josh Donaldson, who could be had with a three- or four-year deal.

Zack Wheeler, the No. 3 pitcher in the free-agent rankings behind Cole and Strasburg, agreed to a $118 million deal with the Phillies on Wednesday, but Cole and Strasburg are expected to fetch much more than that.

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