Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Royals have offered Eric Hosmer a seven-year, $147 million contract.Whoa.
That would be double the largest contract the Royals have ever given to one player. Nightengale also notes that the Padres have a seven-year, $140 million deal on the table for Hosmer -- exactly $1 million less per year than the offer from Kansas City. It's unclear where the Cardinals -- Hosmer's other known suitor -- sit in this market. The 28-year-old first baseman posted a career-best .318/.385/.498 batting line with 25 home runs and 94 RBI over 162 games for Kansas City in 2017. He also won his fourth career Gold Glove, though advanced defensive metrics don't love him quite as much as the voting block. We might finally see some movement soon among the game's top free agents.
Dodgers acquired LHP Scott Alexander from the Royals and INF Jake Peter from the White Sox in a three-team trade.
The Dodgers traded Luis Avilan to the White Sox in the deal and right-hander Trevor Oaks and minor league infielder Erick Mejia to the Royals. Alexander might not be a big name, but he's the most notable piece of this trade. The 28-year-old is coming off a 2.48 ERA and 59/28 K/BB ratio over 69 innings with Kansas City. His ground ball rate (73.8 percent) was the highest among all relievers with at least 60 innings pitched. The southpaw still has several years of team control and should function as a late-inning bridge to Kenley Jansen.
Jake Peter turns 25 in April and batted .279/.344/.417 with 13 home runs and 11 steals over 120 games last season between Double- and Triple-A. He has experience all over the infield and outfield, so the Dodgers could view him as a potential utility option.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Royals will receive $2 million from the Dodgers and $1 million from the Royals in the deal. Joakim Soria, 33, posted a 3.70 ERA and 64/20 K/BB ratio over 56 innings in 2017. The veteran reliever is a late-inning option for Chicago, but he could end up being a trade piece.
The Dodgers are reportedly covering Luis Avilan's salary. The 28-year-old compiled a 2.93 ERA and 52/22 K/BB ratio in 46 innings with Los Angeles in 2017. He held left-handed batters to a measly .195/.290/.280 batting line. Avilan could pitch in a set-up capacity assuming he stays in Chicago, but the club will surely be willing to listen to offers at some point this year.
Trevor Oaks was recently added to the Dodgers' 40-man roster after posting a 3.64 ERA and 72/18 K/BB ratio over 84 innings at the Triple-A level in 2017. The 24-year-old could end up being a back-end starter for Kansas City, but this deal was motivated in part by sending Joakim Soria (and the great majority of his contract) to the White Sox.
Erick Mejia, 23, owns a .279/.347/.384 batting line over six seasons in the minors. He's finally shown some power over the past couple of seasons, but he's mostly known for his speed and versatility around the infield.
Thank to winter insanity did not post the big deals of the weekend
Padres acquired minor league RHP Jared Carkuff and minor league OF Edward Olivares from the Blue Jays for 3B Yangervis Solarte.
Solarte batted a fairly pedestrian .255/.314/.416 in 2017, but he's a versatile defender and a better hitter than last year's line suggests. Solarte is a career .267/.327/.419 hitter who has experience at all four infield spots, providing value to the Jays as a safeguard against injury prone infielders Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis if nothing else. Reports suggest the trade is not a precursor for a Josh Donaldson deal. The 30-year-old Solarte is under team control through 2020.
Carkuff was a 35th-round pick of the Jays in the 2016 MLB Draft. A reliever, he posted a 3.86 ERA over 63 innings while reaching Triple-A this past season. He could move quickly for the Padres.
Olivares is the primary return for the Padres, a 21-year-old outfielder who hit .269/.327/.468 with 17 homers and 20 steals between Class A and High-A this past season. Olivares was the No. 18 prospect on MLB.com's Top 30 list for the Jays.
Padres signed RHP Craig Stammen to a two-year, $4.5 million contract.
The deal has an additional $1 million per season in incentive-based compensation. The move appears to be a shrewd one, Stammen was one of the better relievers in the National League last year; notching a cool 3.14 ERA in 60 appearances with the Padres. He fanned 74 batters and walked 28 in 80 1/3 innings. He pitched only four innings in 2015 and missed the entire 2016 season due to a torn flexor tendon that required surgery and a long recovery. He began his career in 2009 and struggled as a starting pitcher, but later developed into a shutdown reliever for the Nationals for several years. The 33-year-old right-hander has a career 3.80 ERA in 571 innings spread over 289 games, including 38 starts.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports the Mets and suspended RHP Jenrry Mejia have avoided arbitration by settling on a one-year, $1.729 million contract.Like the move if he gets reinstated.
Mejia was placed on the permanently ineligible list after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs for a third time in early 2016. He was suspended for 80 games in April of 2015. He returned in July but was quickly suspended again, this time for 162 games. He wasn't finished serving that suspension when he was busted again and banned permanently. It is not technically a lifetime ban because he was eligible to apply for reinstatement after one year (it has been almost two years now). The Mets will not have to pay him this money unless he does get reinstated by the league.
Padres signed RHP Kazuhisa Makita to a two-year contract.
The deal is expected to be worth around $4 million. Makita is a 33-year-old, submarine-style reliever who has posted a 1.91 ERA and 78/21 K/BB ratio over 141 1/3 innings the past two seasons. The move was one of two the club made Saturday to boost its bullpen, also signing Craig Stammen to a two-year deal.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Starlin Castro has requested a trade from the Marlins.lol Castro thought he was going to be free and then was like FUUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKK
Many thought the Marlins would quickly flip Castro to another team after acquiring him from the Yankees as part of the Giancarlo Stanton trade, but that obviously hasn't happened yet and MLB.com's Joe Frisaro wrote last weekend that Miami might wind up keeping the 27-year-old second baseman. That clearly isn't sitting well with Castro, who doesn't want to be part of another rebuilding process like he was in his early days with the Cubs. Castro is due $10.857 million in 2018 and $11.857 million in 2019 with a $16 million club option for 2020.
UPDATE: Jon Morosi of MLB Network confirms that the Pirates and Astros have reached agreement on a Gerrit Cole trade.
No word yet on what the Pirates will get in return, though Kyle Tucker, Forrest Whitley, and Derek Fisher are among the names that have been floated. Cole posted an underwhelming 4.26 ERA over 203 innings with Pittsburgh in 2017, but he had some bad luck with fly balls that turned into home runs and the 27-year-old right-hander makes for a good bounceback candidate in a Houston rotation that will rank among the best in the league. Cole held a 3.23 ERA in 579 1/3 innings between 2013-2016.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, there is "no deal" between the Pirates and Astros on a Gerrit Cole trade.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported Wednesday afternoon that the Pirates and Astros had reached agreement on a trade that would send Cole to Houston, but Passan's source calls it a "false rumor." Astros GM Jeff Luhnow echoed this sentiment in a quote to Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle, acknowledging that the club has "talked to several teams about possible trades" but "at this point, nothing is imminent." This offseason remains stuck in mud.
White Sox acquired INF Jose Rondon from the Padres for cash considerations.
Rondon was designated for assignment by San Diego last weekend to clear a roster spot for right-hander Craig Stammen. The 23-year-old infielder hit .293/.347/.442 with seven home runs and 49 RBI in 78 games between four different levels of the Padres' minor league system in 2017. He will battle for a bench job this spring in White Sox camp.
And for the mild surprise of the day:
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that Jay Bruce will sign with the Mets, with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reporting it will be a three-year, $39 million deal.If the Mets were certain Conforto and Cespedes would be 100%, maybe they don't sign Bruce. However Brue's market was predictably cool and Mets get him at a reasonable discount.
Finalization of the contract is pending a physical. It's somewhat back-loaded, as Bruce is due to make $10 million in 2018 and $14.5 million in the 2019-2020 seasons. Bruce came over to the Mets in a deadline deal with the Reds in 2016, and then was traded from New York to Cleveland when the Mets fell out of contention last summer. The power-hitting outfielder, who turns 31 years old this April, posted a combined .832 OPS with 36 home runs and 101 RBI over 146 games between the Mets and Indians in 2017. He'll be an everyday player for the Mets again this year, with Mike Puma of the New York Post reporting that Bruce may be asked to play some first base as well as the corner outfield. He will likely hit in the middle of the Mets' batting order. Bruce will be allowed to pick five teams that he can block trades to each year of the three-year deal. That could be important for the veteran outfielder, as the reported $39 million contract is somewhat back-loaded and will certainly be more appealing to certain clubs than others. Bruce still has to pass a physical before his new agreement with the Mets will become finalized.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Padres and Brad Hand have reached an agreement on a three-year contract extension in the $18-$20 million range.Another mediocre starter becomes a reliever, then a closer and gains 3-4 MPH on their fastball due to reduced workload.
The deal also includes an option for a fourth season. The contract buys out Hand's final two years of arbitration and covers at least his first free agent season. The 27-year-old was a force out of the Padres' bullpen in 2017, posting a 2.16 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 104/20 K/BB ratio across 79 1/3 innings. He assumed the closer's role mid-season after Brandon Maurer was dealt and accrued 21 saves. He'll open the 2018 campaign locked into the ninth-inning role and should be a reliable source of fantasy value.
Fun Fact: Brad Hand isn't good.
So Mets signing Adrian Gonzalez...
good signing imo... it is very low risk.
good signing imo... it is very low risk.
Gonzalez, 35, is owed $21.5 million in the final year of his contract. The Mets would owe him just $545,000, with Atlanta paying the rest.
Very surprising move in that A-Gonz is not a versatile piece, and the Mets tend to like guys who can play multiple bench spots. I mean they had James Loney 2 years ago so it's not a total anti-organizational move, but yeah it makes perfect sense due to his cost. He'll be the mentor for Dominic Smith, the Mets 1B of the future/now.
By The Frankman Go To PostVery surprising move in that A-Gonz is not a versatile piece, and the Mets tend to like guys who can play multiple bench spots. I mean they had James Loney 2 years ago so it's not a total anti-organizational move, but yeah it makes perfect sense due to his cost. He'll be the mentor for Dominic Smith, the Mets 1B of the future/now.
It was a mutual agreement for him to leave LA because he knew his opportunity at 1st was way down with Belinger coming on. Wonder if he's taking a similar reduced role here?
Loved A-gone ... hope he does well
Giants acquired OF Andrew McCutchen and cash from the Pirates for RHP Kyle Crick, OF Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 in international bonus pool space.Can't believe the Cutch Era is over... great player but his hitting and defense slipped badly.
The Pirates are covering $2.5 million of McCutchen's $14.75 million salary for 2018, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It's the end of an era, as McCutchen made five All-Star teams and won one National League MVP award during his nine seasons as a Pirate and will probably have his number retired by the club one day. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Giants would prefer to play McCutchen in right field and move Hunter Pence to left, although whether that plan works out might depend on whether San Francisco is able to add a center fielder. It's obviously not an ideal landing spot for McCutchen for fantasy purposes, as he's headed to the most pitcher-friendly home park in baseball.
Kyke Crick made a full-time move to relief in 2017 and held a 3.06 ERA and 28/17 K/BB ratio over 32 1/3 innings for the Giants last season. He's always had major control issues but is just 25 and throws very hard. Crick should make the Pirates' roster as a middle reliever.
A second-round pick in the 2016 Draft, Bryan Reynolds hit .312/.364/.462 with 10 homers in High-A last season and was a top-five prospect for the Giants. He'll turn 23 later this month, so the Pirates could push him pretty quickly.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates are signing Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension with club options for 2022 and 2023.Surprised Nats let him walk, but he had issues.
The new contract buys out all of the closer's arbitration years and potentially two free agent years. Rosenthal says Rivero will be guaranteed at least $22 million in the deal and that the options are each worth $10 million. It's a bit of good news for Pirates fans on a day when they traded franchise icon Andrew McCutchen to the Giants. Rivero has emerged as one of the elite relievers in the game, having put up a 1.67 ERA and 88/20 K/BB ratio over 75 1/3 innings in 2017.
Twins signed RHP Addison Reed to a two-year, $16.75 million contract.
The deal was reported on Saturday and is now official. Reed is expected to enter the season as a setup man for Fernando Rodney, although it's certainly conceivable that he could find himself in the closer role at some point. The 29-year-old reliever held a 2.84 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 76/15 K/BB ratio across 76 innings between the Mets and Red Sox in 2017.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Blue Jays have signed Curtis Granderson to a one-year, $5 million contract.
The deal is pending a physical and also includes incentives. Granderson will turn 37 in March and really struggled down the stretch with the Dodgers last season, finishing with a .212/.323/.452 batting line. However, he did pop 26 home runs and still draws plenty of walks. He'll be used in left or right field (or both) against right-handed pitching.
Mike Puma of the New York Post writes that "if healthy," Adrian Gonzalez will probably begin the season as the Mets' starting first baseman.wat
In other words, Dominic Smith will likely be Triple-A bound to begin the year. The 35-year-old Gonzalez is coming off a year where he was limited to 71 games with a back injury while putting up a career-worst .642 OPS, so it's probably way too soon to talk with any certainty about this situation. But clearly the Mets aren't exactly sold on Smith just yet.