Inside Baseball MLB Notes: Some think Bauer, not Kluber or Carrasco, could be Indians pitcher to move

Taking a pre-Winter Meetings trip around the majors ...


Arizona Diamondbacks

— Someone reported the Diamondbacks believe they can trade Zack Greinke without paying down the $104.5 million that remains. And while we are the biggest Greinke fans going, to that we say, good luck. Greinke seems more likely than Paul Goldschmidt to go in trade, though it is assumed here they will have to offset it in some way (that was going to be  the case in previous talks with the Dodgers, and that was earlier in the contract, though he did have a nice year last year). That deal was never prudent from the beginning since the D-Backs to their credit have the lowest ticket prices in the game, making the highest salary incongruent for them. It is obvious why they did it; the Dodgers had Clayton Kershaw, the Giants had Madison Bumgarner and Greinke was deciding between those two teams, which would have put the D-Backs at quite the pitching deficit, so they stepped in and blew away Greinke with the $206.5 million deal. “A perfect storm,” someone close to Greinke called it at the time. If they can trade him now without paying down the deal at all, they are magicians. Jake Arrieta got $75 million from the Phillies as a free agent, so that is a fair starting point (Greinke is seen as someone who can get more out of diminished stuff, so perhaps he could be worth a bit more than that), but Greinke’s 15-team no-trade list complicates things. So does the fact that two big-market teams – the Yankees and Red Sox – haven’t seen Greinke as a fit for them … 

— There’s been a lot of talk about trading Paul Goldschmidt. But one rival predicted, “They will not trade Goldschmidt.” The subject of trading icons is covered here. Jayson Stark of The Athletic reported that the Phillies, who already have two first baseman considered it (but that seems like a long shot), while the Astros and Cardinals seem more logical … 

— Eric Hinske beyond being a fine hitting coach is a well-known good luck charm. It’s amazing how often his teams make the playoffs. He comes as assistant hitting coach.


Atlanta Braves

— Nick Markakis remains a candidate to return to the Braves. They don’t see A.J. Pollock as a likely signee, not because they don’t like him but because they already have Gold Glover Ender Inciarte in center field (plus Ronald Acuna can also play center) and figure that a team that needs a center fielder will be more motivated to sign him. They see Markakis as a more likely fit than Michael Brantley as well … 

— It shouldn’t have come as such a surprise the Braves got Josh Donaldson considering the connection with GM Alex Anthpolous who made the trade to acquire him for Toronto that turned out to be a home run. The reason they liked Dondaldson beyond the obvious that he is a major talent is that he was willing to sign a one-year deal off two years with injuries, and the $23 million salary – while high – basically replaced the $21.5 million they “saved” by unloading Matt Kemp last year and moving money forward … 

— The plan is for Donaldson to bat second. Ronald Acuna Jr. will either return to lead off or move to the cleanup spot … 

— They will not be in the market for Manny Machado or Bryce Harper. Their priority is to make sure they can keep their own future superstar Acuna …

— Though the Braves made huge money since moving into a new stadium, they haven’t exactly been quick to spend all the profits … 

— A big starter would be nice, too. Though they haven’t been connected to Patrick Corbin or Dallas Keuchel yet, either would make a nice complement to Mike Foltyniewicz at the top of the rotation, and if Mike Soroka comes back strong (the workouts have been encouraging, they say), that would be a formidable rotation to go along with a strong lineup. They are both in their 20s and would fit the young roster. They are already seen here as a favorite to repeat (though the Nats are better than they showed, and a big winter is expected for Philadelphia) … 

— They also like an old friend, Craig Kimbrel, but don’t want to go near the Wade Davis $17.3 million record salary even for him … 

— It was nice to see the return of yet another old friend, Brian McCann, the Georgia native and former Braves great. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote that McCann had bigger offers elsewhere but decided to return to the Braves on a $2-million salary.

 

Baltimore Orioles

— The Orioles managerial search runs the gamut from old to young, experienced to inexperienced. “All over the map” is the word. Not that that’s a bad thing. They are the last game in town as far as that goes so they should consider anything … 

— If the Orioles look at former players, perhaps they might consider Carlos Beltran, who probably wasn’t ready when he interviewed with the Yankees days after the Astros won the World Series (though not many who’ve made as much moola as Beltran really want to manage). The Astros already have lost a ton of people, but they might lose another … 

— Adam Jones told Roch Kubatko of MASN he’d like to play “four or five” more years, and we hope that’s true. He’s good for the game.

 

Boston Red Sox

— The Red Sox want Craig Kimbrel back but suggest they won’t go five years for a reliever. Kimbrel is thought by rival execs to seek the top reliever contract ever – that shouldn’t be a surprise since agent David Meter said at the GM meetings that he is the best closer of all time, based on career WHIP, batting average against and OPS against – so he’d likely have to go elsewhere to beat Aroldis Chapman’s $86 million, five-year deal. Perhaps he could get the highest AVV in Boston, though, as Wade Davis $17.3 million stands as the record … 

— They’d also like to bring back Nathan Eovaldi and, presumably, Joe Kelly, which would mean they kept the whole gang together. While it’s unlikely, who could blame them?

 

Chicago Cubs

— Good for Joe Maddon: he says he plans to coach more and talk less this year. But bad for us. We loved Maddon’s interesting comments on anything and everything, and baseball is in the entertainment business after all – though this sounds like it comes from above, and winning is their goal at the end of the day. His frequent press conferences and interviews were occasionally referred to as the “Joe Show,” somewhat derisively among one or two with the Cubs … 

— Brandon Hyde looks like a potential replacement. He interviewed with the Rangers and other teams … 

— Maddon also lost a couple of his guys when Chili Davis was let go with years to go on his contract and Jim Hickey left for personal reasons.

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Chicago White Sox

— They are looking at the big guys, as mentioned earlier. But the other emphasis is on pitching, both starting and relief … 

— They have been linked to J.A. Happ, from Peru, Ill. … 

— They have a terrific outfield of the future in the minors, but for now they need outfielders, too … 

— Coming off his rough year last year they are shopping Avisail Garcia … 

— Frank Menechino was hired as AAA hitting coach … 

— Nelson Cruz is a consideration, though it seems like an odd fit since the White Sox don’t look like a contender for a year or possibly two. In a way Manny Machado or Bryce Harper would make more sense since the White Sox rebuild will look better two years from now … 

— It was so great to hear Danny Farquhar received a clean bill of health. A return to the majors next year after suffering a stroke would be a fantastic story

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

Cincinnati Reds

— Sonny Gray would make sense since he’s not a free agent and new pitching coach Derek Johnson is extremely close to him following their days together at Vanderbilt …

— Just noticed: Old Reds player Chris Sabo moved to become Akron Zips baseball coach. He had been at IMG Academy, a private high school that takes its sports seriously.

 

Cleveland Indians

— There has been more talk about Corey Kluber or Carlos Carrasco possibly being traded, but a couple rival GMs said they believe Trevor Bauer is the one who’s more likely to go. It’s not because of his quirky ways either (they like him), it’s because he has a bit less cost certainty since he is arbitration eligible and not under contract the next two years. It’s not a big distinction, though, so they could consider going the other way …

— The Indians seek outfield and bullpen help … 

— While they like Michael Brantley, and he is believed to relish a return, they understand how unlikely it is. They figure he will get three years on the open market, something they aren’t prepared to do … 

— The OF looks pretty iffy right now. Jordan Luplow, acquired in trade from the Pirates, appears to be a favorite to win a job. Jason Kipnis could also be switched to the outfield … 

— GM Mike Chernoff did receive a contract extension, but the Indians are among teams that won’t say how long it is. In their case, they won’t even admit he received one … 

— Leonys Martin received a clean bill of health, which is great news.

 

Colorado Rockies

— Some view the Rockies as a potential match for the Mets in a Noah Syndergaard trade. David Dahl might be a nice start if the Mets like him in center. But from here it’s hard to see a great match … 

— Adam Ottavino is doing MLB Network three days next week, which will give teams a chance to see just how smart this guy is. And he is that, even if he didn’t win the Rockies chess championship. The Yankees, Mets and Red Sox also seem like logical landing spots for the Brooklyn product, a rare NYC major leaguer.

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

Houston Astros

— The Astros don’t see Max Stassi as a starter and are targeting a starting catcher. Marlins star J.T. Realmuto is the wish but the Astros don’t want to trade Forrest Whitley, arguably the best pitching prospect in baseball off a brilliant Arizona Fall League performance …

— Kyle Tucker would have to be part of a package, and the belief is the Astros would be willing to include him in a deal … 

— Jonathan Lucroy, who doesn’t live far, could be a nice bounce-back candidate for them … 

— If the D-Backs really do trade Paul Goldschmidt, the Astros remain perhaps the most logical team. He is a native of Houston besides all the other pluses … 

— They are looking for a starter and have been linked to J.A. Happ. Patrick Corbin or their own Dallas Keuchel would fit but would be a little more expensive … 

— Keuchel seems to be second to Corbin on most wish lists, though perhaps not the Reds, but as one interested party put it, “He’s a pretty good consolation prize.” … 

— Agent Scott Boras is touting Keuchel as “another (Tom) Glavine.” Keuchel is a smart, soft throwing lefty who has come up big in October, so there are some similarities … 

— The brain drain has been of an all-time nature in Houston, where many were recruited to leave and others left due to free choice. The coaching staff has been repopulated but the front office is unusually thin right now, following the departure of Mike Elias to become Orioles GM and Sig Mejdal, who left earlier, then joined Elias in Baltimore. The shallow front office comes at a busy time, which could affect things … 

— One Astros person says pitching coach Brent Strom is a “genius” and would make a great manager, though at 68 and the way the trend is going, it’s hard to see him getting the opportunity. There is an opening in Baltimore, and Mike Elias, ex of the Astros, is in charge. In any case, the work Strom has done with Astros pitchers has been nothing short of magnificent. 

 

Los Angeles Angels

— They Angels are looking for a starter and have been connected to J.A. Happ. Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel would also fit. The Angels are the one who drafted Corbin originally … 

— It’s worth noting that the Angels haven’t been officially linked to Corbin … yet. They could be more focused on using their money to resign Mike Trout, of course. But Corbin would make some sense based on what their need for starting pitching …

— No word yet on Mike Trout talks. But they have to happen.

 

Los Angeles Dodgers

— The Dodgers are speaking with the Indians about a starter — Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco or Trevor Bauer — reported Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi …

— Yasmani Grandal has hired Adam Katz of Wasserman to represent him, as Ken Rosenthal reported. Grandal turned down the $17.9 million qualifying offer, and it isn’t known whether that was the decision of Katz, his previous agents at Legacy or Grandal himself. In any case, one insider says he believes Grandal will do “well,” seeming to suggest he will beat the qualifying offer, presumably by getting a multiyear deal. His regular season stats over the last three years are very impressive, but his October performance was a worry, causing one rival exec to say he believes he would have been better off with the $17.9 million. In any case, it had to have been a tough call – for whoever made it … 

— The Legacy Agency (TLA) which has been quite steadily losing players and agents, has a deal to be bought by Gatemore. Word is Gatemore has until December 3 to back out of the deal if it gets cold feet. Legacy recently lost Grandal as a client as well as Mookie Betts, Madison Bumgarner, Alex Bergman, Rhys Hoskins and about 30 other big leaguers. TLA still has Carlos Correa Justin turner and others in its baseball stable …

— Dino Ebel is expected to move crosstown (or up the 5 freeway) to become the Dodgers 3B coach, taking the place of Chris Woodward, who was hired to manage the Rangers, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reported … 

— The Dodgers need to take care of Dave Roberts. It would be silly to have the manager who’s made it to the last two World Series enter 2019 as a lame duck.

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

Miami Marlins

— The Marlins are expected to hire three new coaches by next week – a pitching coach, assistant hitting coach and first base coach. Roger McDowell, as Peter Gammons first mentioned, is among the pitching coach candidates … 

— The advanced scouting job is going the way of the typewriter, and unfortunately the Marlins let go Willie Fraser, one of the best guys in the game.

 

Milwaukee Brewers

— They were connected to Madison Bumgarner by Jon Morosi of MLB.com, and after their great success with a bullpen-heavy staff they are again looking at starters … 

— J.A. Happ, from Peru, Ill. (about three hours away), is another on their radar …

— There has been a lot of debate in the press about whether they can tender Jonathan Schoop a contract off his rough 2018 season. He is seen as earning about $10 million via arbitration (MLB Trade Rumors has it at $10.1 million), and that isn’t insignificant off a year in which he sat at playoff time … 

— Some see Erick Kratz’s non-guaranteed $1.2 million contract as light considering his postseason heroics, but the 38-year-old journeyman who never made the majors until he was 38 had a .635 OPS during the season. That postseason “got him a major-league job” is the way one insider put it.


Minnesota Twins

— The pickup of C.J. Cron as a potential replacement for Joe Mauer makes sense. But they haven’t committed to him. Cron had a terrific year in Tampa, which coincidentally is a repeat of Logan Morrison, who also hit 30-plus homers in Tampa the year before signing with the Twins … 

— They have been linked to Sonny Gray.

RELATED: Mets, Mariners appear to be getting closer to Cano deal | Padres may be leader if Mets decide to trade Syndergaard

New York Mets

— Robinson Cano does make sense for the Mets since second base is a position they are looking at, and new GM Brodie Van Wagenen had Cano as a client when he was an agent (and he seemed to be one he liked). However, the $120 million to (good job negotiating by Van Wagenen there) is a problem. The Mets would love it if Edwin Diaz could be “thrown in” to make them feel better about Cano’s contract (but the Mariners would still have to pay some of it down) … 

— The discussions on Cano are continuing, though no deal is imminent. However, in the end, it may make too much sense for both sides to walk away from. The Mariners want to unload Cano’s salary, while the Mets want a second baseman, like Cano and would love closer Edwin Diaz. Add in that Cano has a full no trade clause and would surely prefer New York and things start to fall into place …

— Both Cano and Diaz would go to the Mets in different proposals that have recently been discussed and appear to have momentum. The Mariners want prospects back in return and sources have said top Mets prospects Jarred Kelenic (an OF), Justin Dunn (a RHP) and David Peterson have all been discussed … 

— The hiring of Allard Baird for a VP job is drawing raves around the game. Nice start by new GM Brodie Van Wagenen bulking up the front office … The hiring of Adam Guttridge, first reported by Fancred, shows the commitment to analytics. Dan O’Dowd who hired him as an intern with the Rockies, had the highest of praise for Guttridge, who is viewed as a bright young mind. However, he had a rough ending with the Brewers … 

— No word on whether John Ricco is staying yet but he will for the “short term” at least … 

— Jim Riggleman was a terrific choice for bench coach as a four-time NL Manager who provides the perfect complement to Mickey Callaway, who showed he’s on the learning curve in his first year in New York (that shouldn’t have been such a surprise as his experience came as an American League pitching coach, and not a manager of any sort). Riggleman who is also a great team player who appreciated the fact the Mets were the first team to contact him following his tenure in Cincinnati, where he did a nice job as interim. Some in New York are joking that he is likely the Mets’ next interim, but Riggleman isn’t viewing it that way. Riggleman, who has a one-year deal, is anxious to help Callaway (it’s also a bonus that he joins the staff with respected pitching coach Dave Eiland, who was on Riggleman’s pitching staff when he managed un San Diego a couple decades ago). Riggleman, a Maryland native, loved the idea of possibly managing his hometown Orioles (he is also famous for managing almost exclusively rebuilding teams; he did it in all four NL stops) but the Orioles are just getting started with their search. If he does manage again, he will tie John McNamara for most teams managed with six. (Many have managed five, believe it or not.) … 

— Chili Davis is the choice as hitting coach. They just need to work out the salary offset, as he had two years remaining on his Cubs deal when he was let go. Terrific choice as hitting coach. Mike Puma of the New York Post first mentioned his name. Davis, who was the hitting coach in Boston and Oakland previously (he connected with Yoenis Cespedes in Oakland, as Puma mentioned) is well regarded throughout the game. Rudy Jaramillo and Dave Magadan were two more candidates, so they had a very good group from which to choose … 

— Yan Gomes is a target, reports Andy Martino of SNY. Gomes, the first Brazilian born MLB player, is a nice player but no great bargain with $9 million to go over one year (though there are options, and teams do like the idea of one year). They also talked to free agents Martin Maldonado and Wilson Ramos, who are both seeking multiyear deals. To this point Yasmani Grandal hasn’t been heard as much around the Mets … — Wally Backman was hired as Long Island Ducks manager. It certainly is a place for second chances. They even tried to give one to John Rocker, not that Backman is close to that category.

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

New York Yankees

— Patrick Corbin and J.A. Happ remain the top pitching targets following the acquisition of James Paxton. Corbin is in New York Thursday for a vist, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported …  

— Happ has 10 teams chasing him, and I may have undersold him on the free-agent predictions list, suggesting a two-year deal. “It’ll take three years,” one interested party said … 

— It’s come out that David Robertson wants to pitch somewhere near his Rhode Island home. That would make the Yankees, Mets and rival Red Sox as logical for Robertson, who is representing himself. (Aside: Interesting that an Alabama native has made his home in Rhode Island.) … 

— As reported on Fancred, the Yankees had some talks with the Mariners about Robinson Cano. The proposed deal would send Jacoby Ellsbury to Seattle. However, the sides were still apart on the money. Cano would presumably OK a deal back to the Yankees with all that’s going on in Seattle.  Ellsbury was somewhat reluctant to waive his no-trade last year (like Cano, he has a full no-trade) but ultimately it is believed he would have approved the Giants had they had any interest. (They didn’t). It’s an interesting combo of names since the Yankees were criticized for signing Ellsbury for $157 million while letting Cano walk five years ago … 

— The Yankees wisely got insurance on Ellsbury (they seem to have it on most long deals), and that would presumably carry over in the event of a trade, but could complicate things since continued absences could mean money coming back to whatever team he is on. It’s hard to remember now, but he’s been somewhat productive when he’s been on the field … 

— Like the pickup of Parker Bridwell who had a nice (but short) run for the Angels …

— MLB Players Association chief Tony Clark’s contract was extended, The Athletic reported. He is not well liked by MLB people, which could be a negative, or a positive.

 

Oakland Athletics

— There are some neat artists renderings of the proposed new stadium on the Howard Terminal site. It’s nice that they are trying to stay in Oakland. But as with the Rays, the financing is the key, not the artistry of the proposal … 

— Old friend Sonny Gray has been linked to the A’s … 

— They are bracing for a raid of their front office by new Giants honcho Farhan Zaidi across the bay. Zaidi worked for years in Oakland before going to L.A.

RELATED: Phillies, Yankees lead 10 contenders to sign Harper, Machado

Philadelphia Phillies

— One baseball insider said the Phillies are “considering anyone and everyone,” which pretty much sums it up … 

— They showed Patrick Corbin around on a gray day in Philly. While he pitched in the Valley of the Sun last year, he is from Syracuse, so the dreary weather shouldn’t phase him … 

— The Phillies talked to Josh Donaldson before he signed with the rival Braves, meeting with his agent at the GM meetings. They are believed to be talking to everyone of course … 

— They are holding onto most of their current players … for now, anyway. While Carlos Santana, Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter are up for trade, they will wait to see who they sign before deciding whether to trade Maikel Franco, Cedar Hernandez, and J.P. Crawford … 

— There’s no known trade market for Santana at present. Some teams that could consider first base are the Twins, Rockies, Cardinals and Astros … 

— They seek a lefty reliever, which puts Zach Britton and Andrew Miler squarely on their radar … 

— Ex-Phillie Tommy Joseph went to LG in the Korean League, Jeff Passan, currently of Yahoo, wrote.

 

Pittsburgh Pirates

— Lonnie Chisenhall could be a bargain for the Pirates at $2.75 million. I feel like I write that a lot about Pirates moves … 

— The Pirates say Chris Archer should be back following hernia surgery.

 

St. Louis Cardinals

— Third base is clearly an area they are looking at, and Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported they made an offer to Josh Donaldson, which is logical since they were interested last winter. So Manny Machado could be a fit positionally, but it doesn’t seem like they are headed in that direction. It feels like they might take a closer look at Bryce Harper. A lefty bat is something that’s needed so he’d work from that perspective …  

— What a nice young man Harrison Bader is. He was in at MLB Network doing TV this week, and did a nice job.

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

San Diego Padres

— There was talk with the Mariners about Jean Segura, and the Padres would have used him at short until Tatis is promoted, then moved him to second. But the guess from an insider is that Segura will go elsewhere, somewhere that is more in need of a shortstop … 

— They also talked about Mike Leake, an innings eater, but seem to be aiming higher for now. Leake has a full no-trade but being a San Diego native presumably would accept a deal to San Diego (San Diego is nice even for non natives of course) … 

— Wil Myers may be tough to traded with $63 million to go, plus a $1 million assignment bonus should he be traded. Myers is liked here very much but he goofed when he was caught on tape while streaming a Fortnight game complaining about manager Andy Green’s workouts. Myers apologized for that, and the Padres seem to be past it.

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

San Francisco Giants

— For Madison Bumgarner, despite three World Series championships, it seems less likely than ever that he’ll spend his full career in San Francisco. The issue is that he has so outperformed his first long-term contract that he hasn’t been so open to doing a second one (in other cases, i.e teammate Evan Longoria, the opposite was true; he signed a second one to make up for the first, and it turns out he did to a large degree). … 

— It’s worth noting Bumgarner’s agent churn as well: While he has resisted publicly complaining, he has changed agents multiple times since, an indication that it’s on his mind at the very least.

RELATED: Mets, Mariners appear to be getting closer to Cano deal

Seattle Mariners

— The Mariners are doing a full rebuild. Said one rival GM of Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto, “When Jerry goes, he goes. Anything that’s not nailed down may go.” As was reported here originally, the Mariners prefer to hold onto Mitch Haniger, Marco Gonzales and Edwin Diaz, but rivals say they believe Diaz will probably be dealt, as well, since a closer is more valuable to a contender than a non-contender. Dipoto back at the GM meetings quibbled with the description of the situation as a “teardown,” though that appears to be a semantics thing, as that is precisely what they are aiming at doing … 

— Robinson Cano is the logical one of the high-priced veterans to go, not because he’s unproductive but for the opposite reason; at this point, even with $120-million over five years to go, he is more tradeable than Kyle Seager, Dee Gordon and Felix Hernandez. Rivals see him being worth about half that amount though, so the deal will have to be offset in some way …

— The idea to take both the contracts of Gordon and Mike Leake seems ill-advised at this point. Leake, who has a full no-trade, has been on the alert that he could go. Ken Rosenthal reported the Padres as one possibility, and he probably wouldn’t mind that as a San Diego native (even natives can appreciate San Diego, too) … 

— Nelson Cruz, who obviously won’t be back now that they are in full rebuild, will be recalled as a classy guy. He posted videos on social media showing him working out at first base … 

— They actually have a whole new coaching staff. They parted ways with Scott Brosius, who was well liked. There were two issues: he wanted a two-year deal and they only wanted to give him one, and he was less of a believer in the hitting plan they espoused (the new guy Tim Laker is more on board with the launch angle emphasis)…

— The Mariners haven’t said how long the extensions for GM Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Servais were for, but sources suggest that the belief is that Dipoto’s new deal is for three years. So he has time … 

— It’s still hard to grasp what was done above him. Thanks to the reporting of Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, it came out in a report in that paper that Mariners president Kevin Mather had two sexual harassment complaints and the Mariners had to make two payouts before he was promoted to his lofty position. And the crazy thing is, the other finalist was Bob Aylward who also had a sexual harassment complaint, and the guy they were replacing was Chuck Armstrong, the longtime team president, who also had a sexual harassment complaint against him. Here’s the story again. The whole thing is just horrendous.

 

Tampa Bay Rays

— The Rays have the prospects to make a big move for a pitcher such as Noah Syndergaard, many are suggesting. It isn’t known how seriously the clubs have talked, but there could be a fit there. Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggested it … 

— Hoby Milner, most memorable as the player who was called into the game before he warmed up by Philly last year, was outrighted to Triple-A by the Rays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported.

 

Texas Rangers

— Jesse Chavez, one of my picks as a potential bargain signing, got $8 million over two years after rising to become the Cubs closer and posting a 1.15 ERA in Chicago after his trade from Texas last year … 

— Sonny Gray has been linked to the Rangers, among others.

 

Toronto Blue Jays

— The Blue Jays are one of the teams connected to their former pitcher J.A. Happ …

— The Jays also have interest in Dallas Keuchel …

— Folks are raving about the choice of Charlie Montoyo to be manager.


Washington Nationals

— The Nats are said to love Yasmani Grandal. But with old friend Kurt Suzuki in the fold already it appears more likely that the Nats will find a catcher to split time more equally with Suzuki than sign Grandal to start … 

— Henderson Alvarez is a worthwhile minor-league flyer for the Nats off an impressive showing in the Mexican League … 

— Juan Soto impressed everyone in the Japan All-Star series even if the U.S. team didn’t impress many on the field. The main problem was a lack of top-fight pitchers willing to sign up presumably due to the injury risk of throwing and particularly team concerns … 

— The Nats are going after an ace, targeting Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel … 

— They haven’t ruled out Bryce Harper.

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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