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Monday, February 24, 2020

Adding Dozier gives Padres infield options

PEORIA, Ariz.—The Padres added a veteran and a reigning World Series champ to their wide-open second-base race on Sunday.

Brian Dozier agreed to a Minor League deal with San Diego, which includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training. The 32-year-old righty hitter is expected to join the club on Monday, once he completes his physical.

“He’s been to the World Series the last two years in a row,” said Padres manager Jayce Tingler. “He’s got a really good track record, a very good resume. He’s played on a lot of winning teams, especially the last couple years. We’re excited to get around him.”

Dozier, who is entering his ninth season in the big leagues, batted .238/.340/.430 with 20 homers and 20 doubles for the Nationals last season. He’s had plenty of success against left-handed pitching, posting a .900 OPS last season and a career mark of .855.

 

 

QLE Posted: February 24, 2020 at 12:24 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: brian dozier, contracts, hot stove, padres

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Yasiel Puig Rumors: White Sox, Rockies Favorites to Sign Star Free-Agent OF

As Yasiel Puig continues to wait for a contract offer to his liking, two teams have reportedly emerged as the favorites to sign the veteran outfielder.

Per Hector Gomez of Z101, the Chicago White Sox and Colorado Rockies are considered the favorites to land the former All-Star.

It’s unclear at this point what a potential contract offer for Puig would include, but the timing of a deal could end up making him a bargain.

Teams reported to spring training last week with games scheduled to begin Saturday.

Compared to the last couple of years, there isn’t much left to the hot stove with spring training having begun.

 

QLE Posted: February 22, 2020 at 12:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hot stove, rockies, white sox, yasiel puig

Sunday, February 02, 2020

All-Star Lindor’s future with Indians clouded in uncertainty

CLEVELAND (AP) — Francisco Lindor’s future with the Indians was already unclear and uncertain.

On Saturday, it got even more confusing.

The four-time All-Star shortstop, who has been the subject of trade rumors because Cleveland will probably never be able to offer him a long-term contract close to what he may one day get as a free agent, made some contradictory comments while discussing his curious situation.

Lindor said he would love to stay in Cleveland, calling it “a home.” But the 26-year-old also said the Indians have not made him the “right thing” to this point, and he questioned whether the club would ever be positioned to come up with the kind of money needed to keep him.

Well, most of the hot stove stories of this off-season have closed- why not have one that lingers?

 

QLE Posted: February 02, 2020 at 12:54 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco lindor, hot stove, indians

Friday, January 31, 2020

Free-agent reliever Pedro Strop agrees to join Cincinnati Reds’ bullpen on 1-year contract

The Cincinnati Reds addressed their lineup when they signed Mike Moustakas, Shogo Akiyama and Nick Castellanos this winter. They strengthened the rotation when they added Wade Miley.

Now, it’s the bullpen’s turn.

Veteran right-handed reliever Pedro Strop agreed to a one-year contract with the Reds on Thursday, according to a source, becoming their fifth big league free-agent signing of the offseason. Strop will make $1.825 million next season, according to the Dominican-based media outlet Deportivo Z 101, with a chance to make an additional $1.675 million through incentives. The Reds haven’t confirmed the signing, which is pending a physical. 

Strop, 34, spent the past seven seasons with the Chicago Cubs. He had a career-high 4.97 ERA in 50 appearances last year, securing 10 saves. He struck out 49 and walked 20 in 41 ⅔ innings. It was his fewest innings pitched in a season since 2011 and the first time his ERA was above 3.00 since 2013.

 

 

QLE Posted: January 31, 2020 at 12:12 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: hot stove, pedro strop, reds

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Mets reportedly had interest in Pablo Sandoval before infielder signed minor-league deal with Giants

Pablo Sandoval is sticking with the San Francisco Giants, returning on a one-year minor-league deal reportedly worth $2 million.

According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (who also broke the news), both the Mets and Phillies were interested in Sandoval before he elected to return to the Bay Area.

Sandoval, 33, began his major-league career as a third baseman but now can play both corner infield positions, having made 47 appearances at first base over the past two seasons.

Rather surprising that there was a bidding war for Pablo Sandoval at this point in his careed- somehow not surprising, once that was a given, who the two losing teams were….

 

QLE Posted: January 30, 2020 at 01:00 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: hot stove, mets being mets, pablo sandoval

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Red Sox Re-Sign Mitch Moreland

Mitch Moreland will be back for at least a fourth season in Boston, as the Red Sox announced Tuesday that he’s been re-signed to a one-year deal with a club option for the 2021 season. The BASH Baseball client will reportedly be guaranteed $3MM in the form of a $2.5MM salary in 2020 and a $500K buyout on a $3MM option for the 2021 season. Right-hander Denyi Reyes has been designated for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster, per the Red Sox.

This marks the third time that Moreland, 34, has signed a free-agent deal with the Red Sox. Since signing in Boston prior to the 2017 season, he’s delivered a .247/.326/.455 slash with 56 home runs, 74 doubles and five triples. Most of that damage from the left-handed-hitting Moreland has come against right-handed pitching, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see right-handed-hitting Michael Chavis pair with him at the position.

Beyond his respectable contributions at the plate, Moreland is renowned for his defensive prowess at first base. Defensive metrics suggested that Moreland took a step back in his age-33 season, though most measures of his glovework still pegged him as a roughly average defender at the position, and his track record is quite strong overall. Given that he’ll come at such an affordable rate not only in 2020 but potentially in 2021, Moreland is a sensible re-signing even at a time when the Red Sox are striving to lower their luxury tax commitments.

Well, we found the player the Red Sox aren’t too cheap to try to get rid of…..

 

QLE Posted: January 29, 2020 at 12:39 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: hot stove, mitch moreland, red sox

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Cubs expressing interest in free agent second baseman Scooter Gennett

The Cubs are expressing interest in free agent second baseman Scooter Gennett, according to WSCR’s Bruce Levine.

Gennett only played 42 games last season after suffering a severe right groin strain at the end of spring training. He made his season debut on June 28 and the Reds dealt him to the Giants at the trade deadline. San Francisco released him a month later.

Gennett, who turns 30 in May, posted a .226/.245/.323 slash line with two home runs and a woeful 44 wRC+ last season. He fared much better from 2017-18, slashing .303/.351/.508 with a 124 wRC+. He hit 27 and 23 homers those two seasons, making the All-Star team in 2018.

 

 

QLE Posted: January 28, 2020 at 12:44 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, hot stove, scooter gennett

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Royals sign veteran OF Alex Gordon to $4M contract for 2020

KANSAS CITY, MO (AP)—The Kansas City Royals signed outfielder Alex Gordon to a $4 million contract for next season, giving the rebuilding club a veteran presence in what is expected to be a young lineup under new manager Mike Matheny.

The Royals designated right-hander Heath Fillmyer for assignment Wednesday in a corresponding roster move.

The 35-year-old Gordon, a three-time All-Star, won his seventh Gold Glove last season to move within one of Frank White for the most in franchise history. He committed just one error in 146 games played in the outfield. His seven outfield assists tied him for third among big league left fielders, and his .266 batting average was his best since the 2015 season.

Gordon was even called upon to pitch twice in games that got out of hand.

 

QLE Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, hot stove, royals

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Marcell Ozuna gets one-year deal from Braves worth $18 million

ATLANTA—Free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna and the Atlanta Braves reached an $18 million, one-year deal Tuesday that puts him on the team he helped beat in the playoffs last October.

Ozuna hit .429 with two home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in their five-game win over the Braves in the National League Division Series.

The 29-year-old Ozuna hit .241 with 29 home runs and 89 RBI last season. His low batting average was something of an oddity because he ranked among the major league leaders in the highest percentage of hard-hit balls, according to Statcast.

And the hot stove stays on!

QLE Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:37 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hot stove, marcell ozuna

Monday, January 20, 2020

Royals, Alex Gordon “Getting Close” To Deal

For those curious about what else is going on in the baseball world:

The Royals are “getting close” to a one-year agreement with outfielder Alex Gordon, according to Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com. The financial details of said agreement are yet unknown. Nothing has been finalized yet, but Flanagan expects that an announcement might come in the next couple of days upon the completion of Gordon’s physical.

It’s long been expected that Gordon and the Royals would work out a deal to keep the 35-year-old in the organization with which he’s spent his entire career; Gordon has made it clear that he would opt for retirement if a return to Kansas City wasn’t possible. However, it looks as if the franchise icon will stick around for at least one more year.

Don’t expect Gordon’s earnings in 2020 to drive the Royals’ payroll through the roof. It’s clear he’s no longer the player he was when he was awarded with a contract that would’ve paid him $23MM this year had the Royals exercised his option. So, speculatively, $5MM or so seems like an agreeable price point for the two sides.

 

 

QLE Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:23 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, hot stove, royals

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Slugger Josh Donaldson agrees to $92 million deal with Twins

Frustrated in their attempts to land an established ace in free agency, the Twins on Tuesday acquired a player who will help the team’s pitching staff in an underrated way:

They won’t have to face Josh Donaldson anymore.

Donaldson, who owns the highest batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage of any opponent in Twins history, on Tuesday accepted the largest free-agent contract the team has ever agreed to - a four-year deal that guarantees the 34-year-old third baseman $92 million.

Those terms — an average annual salary of $21 million, plus an option for a fifth year in 2024 that could bring the total to more than $100 million, or a buyout worth $8 million — dwarf the $54 million guarantee that Ervin Santana received five years ago, which stood until now as the priciest deal lavished on an outsider.

Am I missing anyone important, or does this mean that we’re out of players to discuss around the hot stove?

 

QLE Posted: January 15, 2020 at 12:30 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, hot stove, josh donaldson, twins

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Indians more confident star Lindor begins season with them

CLEVELAND (AP) — Francisco Lindor’s status with the Indians has been slightly upgraded.

Team president Chris Antonetti said Wednesday he’s more confident the All-Star shortstop will be in Cleveland’s lineup to start the season after the Indians didn’t receive a trade proposal to their liking over the past few weeks.

Antonetti did not disclose any specifics about what has been offered for Lindor, a four-time All-Star and one of baseball’s best all-around players. Cleveland has him under contract through the 2021 season, but the Indians have been unsuccessful in their attempts to sign him to a long-term deal. There appears to be little chance he will re-sign.

Antonetti believes Lindor will be around for at least a little while.

So, with Lindor sticking around, who do we have left on the hot stove?

 

QLE Posted: January 09, 2020 at 04:40 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco lindor, hot stove, indians

Saturday, January 04, 2020

MLB hot stove: Top prospect Oscar Colas defects from Cuba and will seek MLB contract, per report

Oscar Colas, regarded as one of the most talented players in the world not under contract with an MLB team, has defected from Cuba and will look to sign with a big-league team, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Colas must establish residency in a third country and be unblocked by the Office of Foreign Assets Control before MLB clears him to sign. That process could take months.

The Cuban government grants some players permission to play in Japan and Colas, 21, has spent the last two years with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. The left-handed hitter authored a .300/.353/.511 batting line with 12 homers in 73 games as right fielder and first baseman in 2019. He played the entire season as a 20-year-old.

Here’s video of Colas socking a home run in his very first at-bat with the Hawks last season. Notice he has the same sort of leg kick hesitation you often see employed by Asian hitters.

Well, this could be a story of interest to follow in the coming years….

 

QLE Posted: January 04, 2020 at 01:33 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: hot stove, oscar colas

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Twins Have Made 4-Year Offer To Josh Donaldson

The Twins entered the offseason seeking “impact” starting pitching, but it doesn’t appear they’ll succeed in that quest. They agreed to one-year deals with Rich Hill and Homer Bailey on Tuesday, and with no high-end starters left on the market, their heavy lifting could be done in that area after also retaining Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda.

Although the Twins may be finished picking up notable starters, that doesn’t mean the reigning AL Central champions are content to enter next season without adding at least one more established contributor to the roster. On the contrary, they’re still chasing the premier free agent available, Josh Donaldson, and have made the third baseman a four-year offer, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports (subscription link).

Financial details of the Twins’ proposal are unknown, but it could well be in the neighborhood of $90MM. As of two weeks ago, the Nationals were reportedly willing to go to that range for Donaldson, who has also drawn attention from his previous team, the Braves, as well as the Dodgers, Phillies and Rangers this winter. All of those clubs could still conceivably make a splash at the position.

The hot stove doesn’t take time off to prepare for the return of the Roaring Twenties.

 

QLE Posted: December 31, 2019 at 11:32 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: hot stove, josh donaldson, twins

Diamondbacks sign outfielder Kole Calhoun to 2-year contract

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed outfielder Kole Calhoun to a two-year contract worth $16 million that includes a club option for 2022.

The 32-year-old Calhoun, who lives in nearby Tempe, Arizona, has played eight major league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, batting .249 in his career with 140 homers. In 2019, he hit .232 with a career-high 33 homers while playing mostly right field.

“This is really kind of a dream come true, honestly,” Calhoun said. “I’m born and raised here, grew up a Diamondback fan. Anybody who dreams of playing in the big leagues and you get there, your dreams come true. But as a kid growing up, I always dreamed of playing for the Diamondbacks and now I’ve got that opportunity. I couldn’t be more excited.”

Calhoun is a four-time Gold Glove finalist and won the award in 2015. His new deal is worth $6 million in the first year, $8 million in the second and has a $2 million buyout for 2022. He played in college at nearby Arizona State.

 

QLE Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:48 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, hot stove, kole calhoun

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Blue Jays officially sign Shun Yamaguchi to two-year deal

The Toronto Blue Jays officially signed right-handed pitcher Shun Yamaguchi to a two-year deal worth $6.350 million, the team announced Saturday.

Yamaguchi, 32, has spent 14 years playing professionally in Japan. Last season was one of his best years, in which he posted a 16-4 record, 2.78 ERA and 9.6 strikeouts per nine in 181 innings.

 

QLE Posted: December 29, 2019 at 12:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, hot stove, posting rules, shun yamaguchi

Sources: Marlins, OF Corey Dickerson reach 2-year, $17.5 million deal

The Miami Marlins have reached an agreement with free agent outfielder Corey Dickerson on a $17.5 million, two-year contract, sources have confirmed to ESPN.

MLB Network first reported on the deal between the sides.

The 30-year-old Dickerson hit .304 with 12 homers and 59 RBIs last season for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies, who acquired him on July 31. Dickerson had 42 extra-base hits and a .565 slugging percentage.

So, how long before they trade him for nothing much?

 

QLE Posted: December 29, 2019 at 12:43 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: corey dickerson, hot stove, marlins

Saturday, December 28, 2019

White Sox reportedly interested in right fielder Yasiel Puig

According to a report from MLB Network Insider Mark Feinsand, the White Sox are still looking for outfield help even after the addition of right fielder Nomar Mazara.

....

Feinsand specifically mentions Cuban slugger Yasiel Puig as the top target of the White Sox. Last season Puig played a total of 149 games with the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians, batting .267 with a .785 OPS and 24 home runs. The 24 homers were the second-best mark of Puig’s career.

This would probably deeply displease a recently-retired announcer of theirs- which may be a good-enough reason to do it.

 

QLE Posted: December 28, 2019 at 02:16 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: hot stove, white sox, yasiel puig

Thursday, December 26, 2019

White Sox strike up Christmas Day deal for free agent Edwin Encarnacion, per reports

The White Sox kept their busy winter going on Christmas Day by striking up a deal for veteran free-agent outfielder Edwin Encarnacion. The two sides reached an agreement on a one-year deal worth $12 million, which includes a $12 million club option for 2021, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Dominican reporter Yancen Pujols first reported the agreement.

Encarnacion, who turns 37 in January, was ranked No. 25 in our list of Top 50 free agents this offseason. He’ll likely serve as a designated hitter and backup first baseman behind Jose Abreu. Here’s what R.J. Anderson had to say about him entering this offseason:

“Though he didn’t look great in the postseason, he finished the regular season having hit .244/.344/.531 with 34 home runs. One potential red flag: he was underneath the ball far more often in 2019 than usual, resulting in a sky-high launch angle (over 22 degrees) and pop-up rate. Could that be a sign of decaying barrel control? Encarnacion will turn 37 in January, meaning he’ll arrive at camp with “Attrition Risk” written on his forehead until he can prove otherwise.”

For his career, Encarnacion owns an OPS+ of 125 across parts of 15 major league seasons. His 414 career home runs rank 52nd on the all-time list. Last season, White Sox designated hitters combined to bat a meager .205/.286/.356 with 17 home runs in 550 at-bats, so even if Encarnacion endures some decline he should still constitute a hefty upgrade over that 2019 baseline.

The hot stove season acknowledges no holidays.

QLE Posted: December 26, 2019 at 01:41 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin encarnacion, hot stove, white sox

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Report: Dellin Betances, Mets agree to deal

Dellin Betances, among baseball’s most dominant relievers when healthy, has reportedly agreed to terms with the New York Mets, according to SNY’s Andy Martino. The deal is for one-year that includes two player options, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The hard-throwing righty missed nearly all of 2019 with the New York Yankees while dealing with shoulder issues, then partially tore his Achilles tendon when he finally returned to the mound for two-thirds of an inning in September.

While the injury-riddled season could not have come at a worse time for Betances, the four-time All-Star is expected to make a full recovery in time for spring training after opting for rehab instead of surgery.

He will join a Mets bullpen that finished 25th in baseball with a 4.95 ERA last season and could slide into the setup role along with Seth Lugo.

As a side thought- any theories involving why the hot stove season has been so much warmer, compared to the last couple of years?

 

QLE Posted: December 25, 2019 at 01:09 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, dellin betances, hot stove, mets

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Hot Stove Tracker: Dodgers, Red Sox reportedly talking Mookie Betts trade

The Los Angeles Dodgers, eager to finally break their World Series slump, are looking everywhere this offseason for the addition that could get them over the hump. Now, that could also mean Boston Red Sox star outfielder Mookie Betts.

According to Bob Nightengale at USA Today, the Red Sox and Dodgers are “engaged in exploratory trade talks.” The Dodgers, as we’ve talked about already, also covet Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, and he remains their No. 1 trade priority. Writes Nightengale:

“The Dodgers’ top priority remains Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, but if the two sides can’t agree on a package for the All-Star, the Dodgers could turn its attention to Boston. The Red Sox are much more inclined to trade Betts – who’s projected to earn $27-30 million in his final year before free agency – than Cleveland is with Lindor. The Red Sox, who had baseball’s highest payroll at $244 million, and will pay $13 million in luxury tax penalties, want to slash their payroll to be under the $208 million tax threshold in 2020.”

According to USA Today’s report, the Dodgers would be willing to part with Corey Seager, their former Rookie of the Year, but not Gavin Lux. Other names in the mix: young catcher Will Smith and outfielders Joc Pederson and Alex Verdugo.

The longer and longer it goes on, the Great Red Sox Freak Out of the 2019 off-season comes across as stranger and stranger, especially to those of us who remember the 2018 season…..

 

QLE Posted: December 18, 2019 at 01:44 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, hot stove, mookie betts, trade rumors

Sunday, December 15, 2019

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

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

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

...

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

...

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

So, with all these big names signed quickly, how do you suppose the hot-stove season will go for everyone else?

 

QLE Posted: December 15, 2019 at 12:14 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: corey kluber, dodgers, hot stove, indians

Friday, December 06, 2019

Sources: Yankees make signing righty Gerrit Cole top offseason priority

The New York Yankees have made signing right-hander Gerrit Cole their clear offseason priority and have ownership-level approval to offer him a record-setting deal, sources familiar with their plans told ESPN.

The Yankees’ fondness for the 29-year-old Cole, whose fantastic 2019 season with the Houston Astros set him up to smash David Price’s record $217 million contract for a pitcher, was only reinforced during a meeting with him earlier this week, sources said.

New York and the Los Angeles Angels, a team similarly smitten with Cole and in even greater need of pitching, are preparing for a bidding war that executives expect will reach well beyond $250 million, according to sources. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ interest in Cole is acute as well, though they are also considering bids for right-hander Stephen Strasburg and third baseman Anthony Rendon, sources said.

While the expectation going into the offseason was that negotiations with Cole could stretch into January, the clear willingness of teams to engage in high-year, high-dollar deals could ratchet up the timetable, according to sources. Cole’s agent, Scott Boras, has yet to solicit offers, but the teams’ recognition of Cole’s value and understanding of multiple motivated buyers could have an expeditious effect, sources said.

Something to potentially watch for in the coming weeks.

 

QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:27 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, gerrit cole, hot stove, yankees

Phillies plan to pursue free-agent 3B Anthony Rendon, despite luxury tax implications

The Philadelphia Phillies, luxury tax be damned, plan to strongly pursue free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, with third baseman Josh Donaldson as a potential fall-back plan, two people with direct knowledge told USA TODAY Sports.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Phillies have yet to publicly declare their intentions and have not met face-to-face with Rendon.

The Phillies, who signed Zack Wheeler on Wednesday to a five-year, $118 million deal, would go over the $208 million luxury tax for the first time with the potential signing, but it has not deterred owner John Middleton and the Phillies’ aggressiveness in free agency. The Phillies landed the biggest free agent a year ago with the signing of outfielder Bryce Harper to a record 13-year, $330 million deal.

The Phillies still would like to pursue another starter and relief pitching, but Rendon has become their No. 1 target.

So, what would we make of it if the Phillies did this, given trends within the game?

QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:11 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, hot stove, phillies

Monday, December 02, 2019

Padres get infielder Profar from A’s, deal Allen

After dealing Luis Urías to Milwaukee in a trade last week, the Padres found themselves in need of help at second base. It didn’t take very long for general manager A.J. Preller to find it.
The Padres acquired second baseman Jurickson Profar from the Oakland A’s on Monday for catcher Austin Allen and a player to be named or cash considerations.


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