Inside Baseball MLB Notes: Kelly is first big defection from Boston's World Series squad

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RELATED: Diamondbacks got plenty back in Goldschmidt trade

Arizona Diamondbacks

— Zack Greinke may have prevented a deal by loading up his 15-team no-trade list with just about all the major market teams – including the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies and Nats. One pretty big market team, the Astros, is not on the list, and word is they inquired last year about Greinke. But there’s been no word they have called back this winter on the pitcher who has $104.5M to go (counting bonus money not yet paid). Zack Buchanan of The Athletic had the full list … 

— Nick Ahmed could be dealt. At least the Pirates have checked in, and presumably others, as well … 

— There hasn’t been much buzz about Robbie Ray, though the D-Backs are clearly retooling … 

— They would have done the retool a year earlier but surprised themselves with a big first year under the new regime in Arizona in 2017 … 

— Some have suggested the haul they got for Paul Goldschmidt was “more quantity than quality,” but to get five years of control from Luke Weaver and six years from Carson Kelly looks pretty good from here … 

— They made the safe choice, as the Astros’ offer is said to have included young pitchers J.B. Bukauskas and Cionel Perez. Some liked that deal better, but others see Bukauskas as a reliever. The Astros have offered him in a few deals, including one for Bryce Harper at the deadline last year. The D-Backs preferred Corbin Martin from Houston, but he was never offered.

 

Atlanta Braves

— The Braves have been in touch with the Marlins about J.T. Realmuto, and new word that Tyler Flowers could be had in trade lends credence to the idea that the Braves could wind up with Realmuto. One rival suggests he could see the Braves as a favorite. “They have the prospects,” that rival pointed out … 

— The report that the Braves were floating pitcher Mike Soroka and third baseman Austin Riley was called “utter BS.” Though it’s possible they are offering Riley and others … 

— Soroka looked like a coming star when he was called up as an underaged pitcher last year, and after suffering arm trouble, he is said to be doing well … 

— The Braves were one of the teams in on Sonny Gray …

— The Braves have interest in A.J. Pollock, but they might want to find a taker for Ender Inciarte if they do that. Meantime, one Braves person says Inciarte, Foltynewicz and Swanson are “staying put.”

 

Baltimore Orioles

— The Orioles are about to name Cubs coach Brandon Hyde their new manager. New GM Mike Elias called reports Hyde had been offered the job and in fact would be taking it “premature,” but lo and behold, the reports were right. Good guessers? … 

— They are looking for a shortstop, preferably a defender. They need a lot more than that, however … 

— Joe Trezza wrote on agent Scott Boras’ thoughts on struggling Chris Davis.

 

Boston Red Sox

— The Red Sox will look to pare MLB’s highest payroll this winter. However, Rick Porcello, who is one player who could be a candidate to be dealt, probably has limited trade value thanks to his $21-million salary, even a couple years after winning the Cy Young award … 

— There were reports of Jackie Bradley Jr. drawing interest from Arizona, but GM Dave Dombrowski suggested he’d like to keep his outfield intact … 

— To trade Xander Bogaerts, Boston would need to be “blown away,” NBC’s Evan Drellich reports …  

— The Red Sox certainly aren’t cheap but probably want to save for a chance to lock up Mookie Betts, Chris Sale and J.D. Martinez, who has outs each of the next three years … 

— David Robertson lives in Rhode Island and wants to stay close to home, so Boston is an alternative, especially with the Yankees seeming less likely lately … 

— Adam Ottavino is another possibility, and he’s familiar with the Boston market after playing collegiately at Northeastern … 

— Joe Kelly was the first big defection off the championship team … 

— Craig Breslow, one of the smartest guys in the game, is ready to transition to a coaching/front office role, Drellich writes.


Chicago Cubs

— The Cubs rejected overtures for Kyle Schwarber, Bob Nightengale of USA Today wrote.

 

Chicago White Sox

— The White Sox look primed to do something big. Or at least try do. (They have a meeting set up with Manny Machado, and already had one with Bryce Harper.) … 

— Adam Ottavino was linked to the ChiSox by Jon Morosi of MLB.com … 

— They were talking a lot to Andrew Miller but seem to have pulled back …

— They are in on Nelson Cruz, who is the only MLB players to hit 35-plus homers each of the last five years … 

— Former White Sox manager Tony La Russa, who now is an advisor for the Red Sox, called the folks who ripped Baines based on newer stats, “Weak-ass superficial bull----,” in an interview with Chris Russo on MLB Network.

RELATED: Reds 'all over' Dallas Keuchel in free agency

Cincinnati Reds

— It isn’t easy to get free agent pitchers to come to pitch at Great America Ballpark, so the Reds added Tanner Roark via trade. Roark is seen as an overachiever and he will be help for a rotation in need after the first ever trade of Tanners (Tanner Rainey went to the Nats). Roark was said to be OK by the trade, which at least ensures he’ll get his arbitration number – though it puts him in a likely lesser team not to mention that tougher ballpark … 

— The Reds were talking to the Dodgers about a number of scenarios that involved high priced pieces changing teams. Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Alex Wood have been mentioned as possible players coming from L.A. while Homer Bailey could go west. Bailey, the most overpriced player of them all with $25 million to go for 2019, has the ability to block a trade as a player with 10-and-5 veto right. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first wrote about the talks … 

— The Reds were one of many teams in on Marlins star catcher J.T. Realmuto but were said unwilling to include top hitting prospect Nick Senzel, who the Marlins sought. Outfield prospect Taylor Trammell was discussed, and he would likely be part of a package. Said a scout who saw him in the Arizona Fall League, “I like him. He was the best player on his team in the AFL.” Originally, there was a thought that the defensively-strong catcher Tucker Barnhart could go to the Marlins in the deal. But some believe the Reds would keep him, then spin him elsewhere if they got Realmuto. Barnhart has big value after establishing his defensive credentials … 

— The Reds were in on Sonny Gray, yet another trade target.

 

Cleveland Indians

— Some see the Indians preferring to trade Trevor Bauer rather than former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber … 

— According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, they are also talking about Yonder Alonso and Yandy Diaz … 

— Andrew Miller is too pricey for the Indians, who are tending to cut. Miller is going to insist on a no-trade clause following his surprise trade a few years back to the Indians from the Yankees. The Phillies and Cardinals are potential spots for Miller, among many others.

 

Colorado Rockies

— The Rockies were looking to add offense, most likely at first base. They were connected to Edwin Encarnacion, Carlos Santana and others. Wil Myers does not appear to be on their wish list …

— Mike Hampton’s final deferred payment on his $120-million contract comes Dec. 15.

 

Detroit Tigers

— Detroit has now completed three signings with the addition of longtime Pirate Jordy Mercer to play shortstop …

— Of course, the addition of Mercer means the Jose Iglesias era is over at short.

RELATED: Astros, Dodgers, Yankees all have interest in Realmuto

Houston Astros

— The Astros could still be on the lookout for another catcher, and to that end they continue to be linked to Realmuto. They haven't made a big splash yet in this year's market, and a Realmuto deal would certainly qualify ...

— They put forth a good effort to land Paul Goldschmidt from the Cardinals, offering J.B. Bukauskas and Cionel Perez, pitchers that some evaluators rank more highly than the package the Diamondbacks did get back in return. Of course the only opinion that truly mattered was that of the Arizona front office, and they felt more comfortable with the pieces coming from St. Louis ...

— The Astros have also shown interest in slugger Nelson Cruz ...

 

Kansas City Royals

— GM Dayton Moore beieves it’s vital to have big-time speed in center at Royals Stadium. Thus, Billy Hamilton … 

— Hamilton got a $5 million guarantee on the one-year deal with an option.

   

Los Angeles Angels

— The Angels’ priority is starting pitching but they are looking at the “second tier” guys at the moment. They do need to have more depth in the rotation, especially with their history of injuries among their starters … 

— They hesitate to get in on the big starters that are available via trade after rebuilding their system to the point where it’s gone from the very bottom to the top half. They also haven’t shown any inclination to spend big … 

— The Angels may feel the need to save some loot in case superstar Mike Trout shows a willingness to agree to a long-term extension. They will talk to him this winter, though they haven’t said when … 

— Justin Bour’s new deal seems to give them a trio of first base/DH types, along with Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani (of course he is a pitcher as well, though not next season when he will be recovering from Tommy John surgery.)

 

Los Angeles Dodgers 

— The Dodgers have made improving the bullpen a priority, and the apparent deal for Joe Kelly, which was first reported by Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray of The Athletic, will help … 

— Kelly obviously impressed the Dodgers in helping to beat them in the World Series. He is a Californian, so it worked out nicely for him … 

— Catcher is the biggest area of need but the Dodgers are looking for a solid placeholder until one of Will Smith or Keibert Ruiz is ready … 

— They checked in on Francsco Cervelli, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported … 

— They were talking about big-money deals changing hands with the Reds. Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, Yasiel Puig and Homer Bailey were all mentioned … 

— Chase Utley is here working with the Dodgers front office.

 RELATED: 14 teams are in on J.T. Realmuto

Miami Marlins

— As many as 16 teams have checked in on star catcher J.T. Realmuto. The top nine at this point may be the Braves, Mets, Phillies, Reds, Rays, Dodgers, Padres, Yankees, and Astros … 

— One paper has the Dodgers as a good match. But some think the Braves have a good chance now. Craig Mish, a radio guy in Miami, has been suggesting the Braves were involved all along …

— One group that is more skeptical of the Braves’ interest and intention in acquiring Realmuto? The Braves themselves.

 

Milwaukee Brewers

— There was love for Mike Moustakas after his short but fun stay in Milwaukee. He is currently working closely with Brewers Ryan Braun and Christian Yelich to raise funds for victims of the fires in Southern California. Decent chance Braun and or NL MVP Yelich bends the ear of owner Mark Attanasio, yet another SoCal resident.

 

Minnesota Twins

— The Twins are in on Nelson Cruz … 

— Cody Allen was linked to the Twins by LaVelle Neal of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Makes sense as baseball president Derek Falvey came to Minnesota from Cleveland. He could turn out to be a bargain after an off year.

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New York Mets

— Jeurys Famila is more expensive at $30M for three years as a set-up man than he was as closer for the Mets. Familia was originally signed by Omar Minaya, who is also back,in the front office … 

— Wednesday was a big day for the embattled Levinson brothers, who signed both Familia and Joe Kelly. The pair of Brooklyn-based agents keep going despite articles like this one in the New York Times … 

— J.T. Realmuto has been their top target. But they have resisted including the combination of shortstop Amed Rosario and outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto Miami seeks … 

— New GM Brodie Van Wagenen has seemed willing to take some risks. But he has also said he doesn’t want to create holes while filling other holes. So a trade for Rosario in particular seems unpalatable to the Mets … 

— They will need to acquire a catcher. One interesting possibility could become Tucker Barnhart should the Reds be the ones to acquire Realmuto. He is just the type of defender the Mets would like … 

— Meanwhile, the Mets are looking at alternatives to Realmuto, who include Martin Maldonado, Wilson Ramos and possibly Yasmai Grandal, both of whom they have been "in" on …

— The Mets showed interest in Andrew McCutchen before he went to Philly. They weren’t going to be near $50 million, however.


RELATED: Phillies, Yankees lead 10 contenders to sign Harper, Machado | Astros, Dodgers, Yankees all have interest in Realmuto

New York Yankees

— By getting J.A. Happ back in the fold (as of late Wednesday, they were close to re-signing him), they have satisfactorily re-made the rotation, with a third lefty, following the return of the beloved C.C. Sabathia and the trade for James Paxton. Happ chose the Yankees over the Phillies and several others. He will be getting two years plus a vesting option that reportedly will guarantee him $34 million (via Joel Sherman of the New York Post) … 

— The main teams known to be in on Sonny Gray: Reds, Braves, Padres, Mariners … 

— Adam Ottavino is a target, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported …  

— The Yankees are one of three teams known to have a meeting scheduled with Manny Machado.

 

Oakland Athletics

— Troy Tulowitzki is a candidate to sign with the A’s, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported. He would even play 2B for them, she reported. Tulo is from Northern California.


RELATED: Making sense of the Harper, Machado buzz from the Winter Meetings

Philadelphia Phillies

— Zach Britton and Andrew Miller are believed to be among relief targets … 

— The Andrew McCutchen deal for $50 million over three years seems like a healthy deal but it also seems like something short of stupid money, though one rival agent opined, “Steve Hammond (McCutchen’s agent) has to be agent of the year.” It’s funny McCutchen got about the same guarantee as he got as a young player for the Pirates, when he was a burgeoning superstar, into a 32-year-old former star on the wane. McCutchen did play well in the Bronx, so give him some credit, too … 

— Meantime, the Phillies are getting huge praise for the trade to acquire Jean Segura, a very talented shortstop … 

— Manager Gabe Kapler said he didn’t think it mattered so much whether a starter they target is a righty or a lefty. But they do look like they could use a lefty, and they did target Patrick Corbin and J.A. Happ. Dallas Keuchel would seem to make sense … 

— The Phillies are said to have considered Mike Moustakas as an alternative should Manny Machado not work out. One advantage to Moustakas: he hits lefty. After acquiring the righty-hitting McCutchen and Segura (and trading the lefty swinging Carlos Santana) they are pretty right-handed. Beyond that, lefty hitters Odubel Herrera and Nick Williams and switch hitter Cesar Hernandez could all hit the trade block … 

— Maikel Franco could also hit the block.


RELATED: Cardinals gave up plenty for a year of noted Cubs killer Goldschmidt   

St. Louis Cardinals

— The Cardinals are looking hard at top relievers, including Zach Britton and presumably Andrew Miller. They’d like a closer to keep Jordan Hick as the setup man. The top reliever on the market Craig Kimbrel would work, as well. He has been seeking a six-year deal for close to $100 million. That may be a bit steep. But as they say, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

RELATED: Padres may be leader if Mets decide to trade Syndergaard

San Diego Padres

— Wil Myers would be on the block if there were any chance to trade him. He doesn’t seem to fit on the team, not with Eric Hosmer at first base, and Myers did not look like a third baseman in limited time there last year. He has $64M to go.

RELATED: Trading Bumgarner is logical for Giants, but haul may not be enough

San Francisco Giants

— There’s no sign of serious trade talk involving Madison Bumgarner. A July trade could bring back as much, or more. October is when he shines … 

— They are considering Yusei Kikcuhi. 

RELATED: Making sense of the Mariners' sudden about face and shaky future

Seattle Mariners

— Just how slow were the Winter Meetings through the first four days? Even GM Jerry Dipoto hadn’t made a deal … 

— Mariners people do promise many more moves to come … 

— They have talked about a deal for Sonny Gray … 

— They seem serious about a pursuit of Japan league star Yusei Kikucki who’s coming to the majors ... 

— There were reports Carlos Santana could be on his way out not long after he got there. That proved prophetic Thursday, when he was moved for Edwin Encarnacion …

— It’s worth noting that Encarnacion didn’t want to sign in Oakland a couple years ago because he didn’t want to play on the west coast, so logic would indicate he isn’t thrilled about being sent to Seattle, either.

 

Tampa Bay Rays

— The Rays haven’t made all that many serious free agent signings in their day but Charlie Morton certainly is one. Morton’s $30-million deal will be broken down with $15M in 2019 and $15M in 2020. He has an assignment bonus, meaning he gets $1 million if traded next year and 500K if traded in 202 … 

— Nelson Cruz would make a nice counterbalance to their lefty heavy lineup.

 

Texas Rangers

— After the Rangers missed out on Charlie Morton, they agreed to a $30-million, three-year deal with Lance Lynn, who made up for last year’s rough winter (for him and many others). That price looked like an overpay. In any case, it was interesting to note that Lynn got 2.5 times more money guaranteed off a much worse season. He signed a $12-million, one-year deal with the Twins last year … 

— Lynn became the latest example of a player setting himself up for a good deal off a cameo in New York. Andrew McCutchen did the same … 

— The Rangers could recover a bit of money – maybe a few hundred grand – by releasing Carlos Asuaje who they just claimed, to allow him to sign a deal in Asia he has been offered.

 

Toronto Blue Jays

— The Blue Jays are in on Yusei Kikuchi …

— Troy Tulowitzki was released with two years and $34 million to go. He had been acquired by the previous regime, and this one only knew the injured Tulo … 

— Trading Marcus Stroman would be a case of selling low, but there are enough rumors about that possibility that it seems almost like a probability … 

— Veteran catcher Russell Martin is on the block.

 

Washington Nationals

— The Nats traded Tanner Roark because they weren’t sure he was worth $10 million via arbitration (mlbtraderumos.com estimated Roar’s arbitration number to be $9.8M fwiw) … 

— They are looking for a more cost-efficient starter. They have interest in Wade Miley, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported. But Miley isn’t close to signing yet … 

— The deferrals on Patrick Corbin are so minor that the union still valued his pact at $139.4 million.

Jon Heyman is Fancred's baseball insider. He publishes his weekly Inside Baseball column each Thursday on the App and FancredSports.com. You can download the App here and interact with Jon by following him right here.

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