The Hot Stove season is underway, and we’re keeping you up to date with the latest free-agent news, trade buzz, rumors and more.
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Nova has offers in hand
Right-hander Ivan Nova has received multiple offers for around three years and $36 million, his agent told MLB Network Radio on Sunday
Nova’s agent, Greg Genske, didn’t specify which teams have offered his client or if they’re waiting for a better deal.
Nova, who turns 30 in January, closed the season impressively after being traded from the Yankees to the Pirates. He was 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 11 starts for Pittsburgh, including three complete games. He was 12-8 with a 4.17 ERA in 32 games (26 starts) overall.
Nova is 58-41 with a 4.30 ERA in seven seasons with the Yankees and Pirates.
Both New York teams interested in Logan
The Mets and Yankees are two of a handful of teams interested in free-agent lefty Boone Logan, according to The New York Post.
Logan, 32, rebounded from two subpar years in Colorado to post a 3.69 ERA in 66 games for the Rockies this season.
Logan previously pitched for the Yankees from 2010-13, posting a 3.38 ERA with 202 strikeouts in 176 innings in that span.
Logan has a 4.45 career ERA in 11 seasons with the White Sox, Braves, Yankees and Rockies.
Logan ends 7th-inning threat
Logan ends 7th-inning threat
With runners on first and second base, Boone Logan strikes out Odubel Herrera swinging to preserve the lead and end the top of the 7th
Holland eyes turnaround with Pirates
Free-agent pitcher Derek Holland has expressed interest in signing with the Pirates, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, though the club has not extended a formal offer to the veteran left-hander.
Holland’s agent Michael Martini confirmed Saturday that Pittsburgh is “on our short list,” which makes sense given the way the Pirates (and specifically pitching coach Ray Searage) have been able to turn around the fortunes of veteran pitchers. Recent examples include A.J. Burnett, J.A. Happ and, most recently, Ivan Nova, who went 5-2 and saw his ERA drop nearly two full runs after he was traded to Pittsburgh by the Yankees at the 2016 Trade Deadline.
It’s unclear if the Pirates share a mutual interest in signing Holland, who has made only 35 starts over the last three seasons while battling various knee and shoulder injuries. The southpaw does share a connection with manager Clint Hurdle, who was the Rangers’ hitting coach in 2010 when Holland helped Texas reach the World Series.
Holland, who turned 30 in October, struggled to a 7-9 record and 4.95 ERA in 2016 — his highest rate since his 2009 rookie campaign — while starting only 20 games. His 38.3 percent ground-ball rate in ’16 was also a career low.
“We’d prefer a guaranteed spot,” Martini said, “but Derek is not afraid to compete for a job. We’ll see how the market develops, but we would be open to a one-year deal.”
Blue Jays reportedly interested in Pearce
The latest scoop out of Toronto indicates the Blue Jays are interested in free-agent infielder Steve Pearce, according to MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal.
On the heels of signing designated hitter Kendrys Morales to a three-year, $33 million deal on Friday, the Blue Jays continue to proceed with the realistic notion that Edwin Encarnacion may not be back next year.
Encarnacion was offered a $17.2 million qualifying offer, but is expected to decline and earn a multi-year deal upwards of $100 million, if not more, should he hit the market.
Rosenthal indicated that Pearce, 33, would fit in Toronto as a right-handed platoon for Justin Smoak at first base. Over 10 seasons with five teams, Pearce has compiled a .254 average with 66 homers, 215 RBIs and a .774 OPS.
Mets check in on Bautista, Fowler; focus remains on Cespedes
While the Mets’ are still zeroed in on retaining Yoenis Cespedes, the club has engaged in preliminary talks regarding free-agent outfielders Jose Bautista and Dexter Fowler, according to the New York Post.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson met with Cespedes’ agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, on Wednesday, per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. The New York front office hopes to have the matter resolved one way or the other before the New Year.
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Anthony DiComo ✔ @AnthonyDiComo
A Silver Slugger for Yoenis Cespedes. Is a new Mets contract next? http://atmlb.com/2foIO45
8:59 AM – 11 Nov 2016
7 7 Retweets 53 53 likes
“I have no idea what the market [for Cespedes] is,” Alderson said as the annual General Managers Meetings ended on Thursday morning. “The market will drive this. Both on timing and other aspects, I think.”
Should the Mets re-sign Cespedes, or add a right-handed-hitting outfielder like Bautista or Fowler (a switch-hitter), that could open the door for them to deal one of their lefty-hitting outfielders — Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce. Newsday reported that other clubs have called to inquire about the trio.
The Mets may face considerable competition to sign Cespedes. The Phillies, Yankees and Nationals are among the teams linked to the 31-year-old through the first few days of free agency.
Blue Jays interested in Reddick
The Blue Jays have shown interest in free-agent outfielder Josh Reddick, according to a report by MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi on Friday.
However, the club won’t be able to determine its exact direction until after Bautista decides whether to accept Toronto’s qualifying offer or test the open market. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Thursday that Bautista doesn’t plan to accept the offer.
The 29-year-old Reddick hit .281 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs in 115 games with the A’s and Dodgers in 2016. He was traded to Los Angeles at mid-season. He hit .308 in 26 at-bats in the playoffs.
Bautista, one of the faces of the Blue Jays along with Encarnacion, is coming off a down season in which he was hampered by injury. The 36-year-old hit .234 with 22 homers and 69 RBIs in 116 games.
Rangers not expected to pursue Rays starters
The Rangers want to add a starting pitcher, but it likely won’t be via a trade for one of the Rays’ starters — Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi or Drew Smyly — according to a report by FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal.
The Rangers had extensive trade talks with the Rays in the summer, but no deal materialized. Those talks are not expected to pick back up over the offseason.
Texas’ prospect-laded trades for catcher Jonathan Lucroy and Cole Hamels at the past two Trade Deadlines have made the team more reluctant to part with their remaining young players, according to Rosenthal.
The Rangers also do not seem to be looking to heavily pursue top free-agent starters like Rich Hill, leaving them more likely to add a mid- to bottom-of-the-rotation type.
A’s open to trading Gray, Vogt, Doolittle
The A’s would be willing to trade some of their more established players this offseason, including right-hander Sonny Gray, catcher Stephen Vogt and lefty reliever Sean Doolittle, according to FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal.
Per Rosenthal’s report, Oakland isn’t actively shopping the trio — and they likely wouldn’t want to sell low on Gray, their ace, after a down year in 2016 — but the team is trying to rebuild around core young players like Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton, so they are open to listening to offers.
The 27-year-old Gray and 32-year-old Vogt are under contractual control for the next three seasons. The 30-year-old Doolittle’s contract runs through 2018 with club options for 2019 and ’20.
Gray went 5-11 with a 5.69 ERA in an injury-plagued season, a year after finishing third in the American League Cy Young voting. Vogt, an All-Star in each of the past two seasons, hit .251 with 14 home runs and 56 RBIs. Doolittle had a 3.23 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 39 innings over 44 relief appearances, but missed all of July and August with a strained left shoulder.
Rangers shopping Profar
In their quest for starting pitching this winter, the Rangers could potentially offer Jurickson Profar up for trade.
Profar was the subject of much speculation prior to this summer’s Trade Deadline, and MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that it has spilled over into the offseason.
The versatile infielder, who logged time at first, second, third, shortstop, left field and designated hitter, hit .239 with 35 runs scored, five home runs and 20 RBIs in 90 games for the Rangers last season, his first since 2013 after missing two years with a torn shoulder muscle.
Prior to the injury, Profar was rated as the No. 1 overall prospect in the Minor Leagues.
Cecil on M’s radar
The Mariners emerged as an early suitor for free-agent reliever Brett Cecil, according to MLB Network’s Jon Paul Morosi. Cecil would address a major need for Seattle as a left-handed reliever.
MLB.com’s Greg Johns notes that the Mariners won’t be pursuing Aroldis Chapman, who could draw a record deal for a closer this offseason, but will be active in exploring the next tier of left-handed relievers, which includes Boone Logan, Jerry Blevins and Javier Lopez.
“We have a couple other irons in the fire,” GM Jerry Dipoto said Tuesday. “We do feel that is one area in the free-agent market that is more robust than others.”
Cecil, 30, missed time with a triceps injury last season, posting a 3.93 ERA through 36 2/3 innings for the Blue Jays.
The Mariners already made one move to shore up their bullpen, claiming southpaw Dean Kiekhefer off waivers from the Cardinals last week. After Kiekhefer, however, Seattle has just three returning lefty relievers on the 40-man roster, each with limited experience in the big leagues: David Rollins, switch-pitcher Pat Venditte and Ariel Miranda, who could be in line for a rotation spot.
The Twins have received interest from multiple teams about the availability of second baseman Brian Dozier, MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports. Dozier’s value is sky high following his record-breaking 2016 season. Dozier set an American League record for second basemen with 42 home runs this season, thanks to a torrid second half in which he hit 28 in 72 games.
The rebuilding Twins can likely yield a substantial prospect package for Dozier, who will be owed a team-friendly $15 million over the next two seasons. He is signed through 2018.
The Dodgers are known to be looking to upgrade at second base after Chase Utley’s production faded significantly down the stretch last season, and Morosi reports they are at least interested in Detroit’s Ian Kinsler. The Angels, Royals and Mets could be in the market for second base help, though New York would have to wait until Neil Walker accepted or declined the club’s qualifying offer.
Gauging trade interest in Dozier
Gauging trade interest in Dozier
The MLB Tonight crew breaks down the teams interested in acquiring Brian Dozier from the Twins this offseason
Miggy on the move? Really?
The biggest name to move this winter might not even be a free agent, as the Tigers are listening to offers on Miguel Cabrera, according to MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi. Morosi cites the Astros as a team with interest in the two-time MVP, as they look to add finishing touches to their young, talented roster.
Cabrera, 33, is owed $212 million through 2023, with options in place that could keep him signed through 2025. The 11-time All-Star is still one of the best hitters in baseball; he hit .316/.393/.563 with 38 home runs and 109 RBIs in 2016.
For the Tigers to trade Cabrera while still contending, they’d have to receive quite a package in return.
Morosi on Miggy trade rumors
Morosi on Miggy trade rumors
Jon Paul Morosi joins MLB Tonight to discuss speculation that Miguel Cabrera could be dealt and whether the Astros are interested
O’s have their eye on Reddick
The Orioles are pursuing free agent Josh Reddick, according to MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi. Reddick, 29, profiles as an athletic replacement for slugger Mark Trumbo, who the Orioles may lose in free agency. If signed, Reddick would take over right field in Baltimore, where Trumbo played 95 games last season, and probably push Joey Rickard and Hyun Soo Kim into a platoon in left.
Traded from the A’s to the Dodgers over the summer, Reddick struggled to drive the ball after landing in Los Angeles. He finished the season hitting a combined .281/.345/.405 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs. Reddick hit 32 homers in 2012, but his 2016 home run, RBI and slugging totals marked his lowest since 2013.
The Orioles are well aware of what Reddick can do, though. His 1.167 career OPS at Camden Yards is his highest at any Major League park.
Giants meet with closers’ agents
MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports that San Francisco officials met with the representatives of free-agent closers Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon this week, in an attempt to plug their considerable bullpen holes. The Giants blew 29 saves in 2016 and two more in their National League Division Series loss to the Cubs.
The Giants lacked a lockdown reliever all season, while Chapman, Jansen and Melancon combined for 130 saves in 143 chances.
The Giants will have to battle the rival Dodgers, who were close to acquiring Chapman from the Yankees in July, and know very well what Jansen is capable of. Expect Los Angeles to sign one of the big-name closers before it’s all said and done. The Giants, with their particular need, will likely try to sign one of the others.
Could McCutchen be traded?
It sounds funny, but the demand for Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen could be higher now than it’s ever been, with teams looking to acquire a superstar player for cheap following a down year.
McCutchen was almost traded in the summer to the Nationals, according to FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, in a blockbuster that fell through before the Aug. 1 Trade Deadline.
The Pirates and Nationals were in talks at the time, and eventually completed the trade that sent Mark Melancon to Washington for Felipe Rivero and prospect Taylor Hearn. The Pirates wanted at least teenage outfielder Victor Robles, a top prospect, as part of a package in exchange for the 2013 National League Most Valuable Player.
At the time, McCutchen was in the middle of the worst season of his eight-year Major League career. After finishing in the top five of the NL MVP voting for four straight seasons, McCutchen saw his numbers drop across the board in 2016, both offensively and defensively.
Still, trading him would signal a total rebuild for a franchise that’s been to the playoffs three of the past four seasons. McCutchen is owed $14 million next season. Pittsburgh holds a $14.75 million club option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout.
Phillies targeting Cespedes or Bruce?
While the Phillies have been mentioned as a dark-horse candidate to sign Yoenis Cespedes, Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggests they’re a better fit for Jay Bruce, whom the Mets could trade. Sherman suggests Philadelphia would be more open to Bruce’s one-year, $13 million commitment for 2017 than locking themselves into a multiyear deal for a player like Cespedes.
“What we do now has to fit our broader organizational plan,” Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said. “We are looking for players that fit our timeline and narrative.”
The Mets are interested in bringing back Cespedes, but already have three corner outfielders for two spots. All three — Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto and Bruce — are left-handed hitters.
The Phillies, meanwhile, have a ton of payroll flexibility, with just two signed players for 2017 and none at all for 2018.
Dodgers expected to make “dedicated pursuit” of Chapman
The Dodgers have long been interested in Aroldis Chapman and are expected to make a “dedicated pursuit” of the left-handed flamethrower, according to Andy McCullough of The Los Angeles Times.
The Dodgers were reportedly in trade talks with the Reds last offseason for Chapman before his domestic violence charges came to light.
Despite being suspended for the season’s first 30 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy, Chapman turned in another stellar season upon his return. He posted a 1.55 ERA and 36 saves in 59 games for the Yankees and World Series champion Cubs.
The Dodgers also maintain heavy interest in bringing back free-agent closer Kenley Jansen. It’s unclear how the team would deploy the two closers if they were to sign both.
Can McCann find home in Houston?
With the emergence of Gary Sanchez in New York, the Yankees could be incentivized to move catcher Brian McCann this winter. One suitor has already emerged as the Astros are reportedly interested in McCann, according to the New York Daily News.
McCann would address a need for Houston as both a left-handed bat and catcher. The Braves and Royals are also among the possible landing sites for the veteran backstop, per the New York Post.
McCann, 32, has three years remaining on the six-year deal he signed with the Yankees prior to the 2014 season. He has a no-trade clause in his contract, meaning the Yankees will need to get his approval in any trade.
The seven-time All-Star hit .242 with 20 home runs and 58 RBIs through 130 games with New York this year.
Red Sox interested in Holland
The Red Sox are one of many teams interested in Greg Holland, who missed last season recovering from Tommy John surgery and recently held a showcase attended by multiple teams.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com tweeted Boston’s interest in Holland, a two-time All-Star who posted a 1.97 ERA and 125 saves from 2013-15.
Holland is 13 months post-surgery, so he should be ready for the start of Spring Training. His fastball was reportedly topping out at 90-91 mph at his showcase.
Holland works out for teams
Holland works out for teams
Greg Holland threw for several teams at Grand Canyon University as he hopes to make his comeback from Tommy John surgery
Myers, Padres to talk extension
The Padres are reportedly planning to discuss a contract extension with Wil Myers this week in an effort to avoid arbitration with the first baseman, general manager A.J. Preller said Wednesday at the General Managers Meetings.
Myers, 25, is entering his fifth season in the big leagues and third with the Padres, who acquired him in a three-team trade prior to the 2015 season. He’s up for arbitration for the first time this winter and is under team control until 2020.
In his first full, healthy season, Myers hit .259 with 28 home runs and 94 RBIs in 157 games for San Diego this year, earning his first trip to the All-Star Game.
Hellickson reportedly leaning toward free agency
Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, to whom the Phillies made a $17.2 million qualifying offer on Monday to ensure a Draft pick in return if he signs elsewhere, is leaning toward testing the open market, according to MLB Network contributor Jon Heyman.
The 29-year-old Hellickson went 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts for Philadelphia in 2016, his seventh Major League season. He struck out 154 batters and walked 45 in a career-high-tying 189 innings.
In a relatively weak starting pitching market this offseason, led by former A’s and Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill, Hellickson may be able to secure a long-term contract that, while featuring a smaller annual salary than the one-year/$17.2 million qualifying offer, would provide a larger overall guaranteed amount.
He has until Monday to accept or decline the qualifying offer.
Klentak on Hellickson
Klentak on Hellickson
Phillies vice president and general manager Matt Klentak discusses his outlook after extending a qualifying offer to Jeremy Hellickson
Twins interested in Castro?
With Kurt Suzuki a free agent, the Twins have expressed preliminary interest in free-agent catcher Jason Castro, according to Mike Berardino of The St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Castro, 29, was an All-Star in 2013 with the Astros, hitting .276/.350/.485 with 18 home runs. He has regressed offensively since, however, and hit just .210/.307/.277 with 11 homers in 2016.
The lone catchers currently on the Twins’ roster are John Ryan Murphy and Juan Centeno.
Levine on plans for 2017
Levine on plans for 2017
Jon Morosi talks to new Twins general manager Thad Levine at the GM Meetings to discuss his plans for the team’s offseason
Dodgers looking to retain stars; add righty bats
The Dodgers’ two main goals this offseason are simple, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman: keep their stars and add right-handed bats.
That first figures to be expensive, even for the financially flush Dodgers. Los Angeles’ four key free agents are closer Kenley Jansen, third baseman Justin Turner, left-hander Rich Hill and second baseman Chase Utley.
The Dodgers offered qualifying offers to Jansen and Turner, who figure to generate plenty of interest. Hill, one of the game’s top pitchers when healthy, was not eligible to receive a qualifying after being traded midseason; Utley, who turns 38 in December, is well-regarded by the club.
Heyman reports there’s no priority between Jansen and Turner, while Hill is just one of several starters the Dodgers would like to add behind ace Clayton Kershaw.
Adding a right-handed batter likely would have to come via trade, unless L.A. makes a splash for top outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. The Dodgers’ best in-house options are Trayce Thompson, Scott Van Slyke and Kiké Hernandez.
A trade for Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, a Los Angeles-area native, has been rumored in the past – but hasn’t come as close as reported, notes Heyman – but that would go against the Dodgers’ stated hope of cutting payroll.
Astros “hot” for Beltran
Both Texas teams are interested in the services of Carlos Beltran, with the Astros joining the Rangers in pursuit of the veteran designated hitter/outfielder, according to Mark Feinsand of The New York Daily News.
Beltran, who turns 40 in April, hit .295 with 29 home runs and 93 RBIs with the Yankees and Rangers in 2016. Because he was traded midseason, he is not linked to Draft pick compensation.
Beltran famously spent half a season in Houston in 2004, hitting .258 with 23 homers and 53 RBIs before erupting in the postseason, hitting .435 with eight homers and 14 RBIs in 12 game.
Feinsand reports it’s unclear whether Beltran is seeking a one- or two-year deal.
Yankees reach out to Cespedes
The Yankees have emerged as possible suitors for free-agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes this offseason.
The other New York club would seem to be an unlikely landing spot for Cespedes as the Yankees already have Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks in right field, but MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported they are at least considering Cespedes and have been in contact with CAA, which represents Cespedes as well as many other free agents.
“I’m open to anything. But as of right now, we’re going to let the kids take a shot,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in Scottsdale, Ariz., per FanRag Sports. “Our current focus is to let the kids try to take the job.”
It’s still possible Cespedes remains in New York with the Mets, who extended a qualifying offer to him and second baseman Neil Walker. General manager Sandy Alderson said as much Tuesday at the annual General Managers Meetings.
“All things considered, we’d like to have him back, yes,” Alderson said, adding that the club has already spoken with Cespedes’ agent. “We expect to have more conversations with them in the next few days. … It all remains to be seen what direction it takes.”
The Nationals are also among the teams that have been linked to Cespedes, who was one of several top hitters to hit the open market when free agency began Tuesday morning.
The 31-year-old enjoyed a successful 2016 campaign, batting .280 with 31 homers for the Mets en route to his second All-Star selection.
Where will Cespedes play in ’17?
Where will Cespedes play in ’17?
MLB.com’s Richard Justice talks about Yoenis Cespedes opting out of his contract with the Mets to become a free agent
Dodgers shopping Kendrick
The Dodgers are reportedly exploring trade options for second baseman/left fielder Howie Kendrick, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
The report names the Phillies and the Angels as potential trade partners. Kendrick spent the first nine years of his career with the Angels, who selected him in the 10th round of the 2002 Draft. He also has ties to Philadelphia general manager Matt Klentak, who was the Angels’ assistant GM while Kendrick was in Anaheim.
Kendrick, 33, hit .274/.331/.387 with 17 homers through 263 games with the Dodgers the last two years. He has one year remaining on the deal he signed with Los Angeles last winter.
Giants “open-minded” about Turner
San Francisco is looking at all options to improve an offense that finished in the lower third of the National League in home runs, and that includes considering free-agent infielder and former Dodger Justin Turner, reports MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi.
Turner, who turns 32 later this month, hit .275/.339/.493 with 27 home runs and 90 RBIs in 151 games this year. He received a qualifying offer from Los Angeles, which is expected to act aggressively in trying to retain him.
Morosi reports the Giants are “open-minded” regarding Turner, and the interest is understandable on many fronts.
Turner, a .282 career hitter, would fit perfectly into manager Bruce Bochy’s high-contact lineup while also providing much-needed pop. The Giants’ current third baseman is Eduardo Nunez, a .273 career hitter with just 34 career homers.
Adding Turner also would hurt the Giants’ biggest rival, while simply engaging in talks could at the very least bump up Turner’s eventual price.
Rays open to trading Longoria
The Rays will consider offers for longtime third baseman Evan Longoria, according to MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, and the Dodgers could be a possibility if they are unable to re-sign Justin Turner.
Longoria has spent his entire career with the Rays, who selected the California native No. 3 overall in the 2006 Draft out of Long Beach State. He is the organization’s all-time leader in home runs and RBIs and ranks second in hits.
Longoria, a three-time All-Star, is coming off a season in which he hit .273/.318/.521 with a career-high 36 home runs in 160 games.
Longoria famously signed a six-year, $17.5 million contract six days into his Major League career, a deal that was extended in 2012. His current contract has $94 million remaining through 2022 with a $13 million team option or $5 million buyout for 2023, and it does not include a no-trade clause, though he’ll gain 10-and-5 rights after the 2018 season.