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MLB Buzz: At least 3 teams in on Watson

MLB.com

The Giants, Phillies and Red Sox are among the clubs interested in free-agent reliever Tony Watson, a source told MLB Network insider Jon Heyman on Tuesday.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale was the first to report the Giants and Watson were in "serious contract talks."

The Giants, Phillies and Red Sox are among the clubs interested in free-agent reliever Tony Watson, a source told MLB Network insider Jon Heyman on Tuesday.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale was the first to report the Giants and Watson were in "serious contract talks."

Hot Stove Tracker

None of the clubs have confirmed their interest in the left-hander, who went 7-4 with a 3.38 ERA in 66 2/3 innings split between the Pirates and Dodgers in 2017.

Watson was an integral part of the Dodgers' bullpen in the postseason as well, appearing in 11 games while allowing two earned runs on five hits in seven innings. He was the winning pitcher in both Game 4 and Game 6 of the World Series.

The 32-year-old is 33-17 with a 2.68 ERA in 453 career innings. He was an All-Star with Pittsburgh in 2014, when he went 10-2 with a 1.63 ERA in a career-high 78 appearances.

It's unclear at the moment which other clubs might be attempting to bring on Watson, but the A's are one team that has been linked to him.

Nunez piques interest in AL East
Eduardo Nunez must have made an impression in his return to the American League East during the stretch run last season, because the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays have all shown interest in the free-agent infielder, according to a report by MLB Network Insider Ken Rosenthal.

Nunez is coming off a successful stint for the Red Sox after Boston traded for him before the 2017 Trade Deadline, so a reunion would make plenty of sense. The 30-year-old hit .321/.353/.539 with eight homers, 27 RBIs and six stolen bases in 38 games for the division champs before his postseason ended early due to a knee injury.

Video: BOS@NYY: Nunez tattoos a two-run shot to left field

He'd also fit in nicely with the Yankees, who are looking to solidify their infield after trading second baseman Starlin Castro to the Marlins and seeing free-agent third baseman Todd Frazier sign with the Mets. New York has prospects who could fill those positions in Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar, but Nunez would be a valuable addition as a proven veteran who has the flexibility to play both middle-infield positions and third base.

The Rays are an interesting addition to the mix -- most of the buzz has centered on them being sellers -- but they need a right-handed bat, especially after their trade of Evan Longoria to the Giants. Nunez hit .313/.341/.460 with 12 homers, 58 RBIs and 24 steals in 114 games overall last year.

According to Rosenthal, the Rays are checking in on right-handed hitters while also maintaining their contact with other clubs about their remaining trade candidates, such as right-hander Jake Odorizzi and closer Alex Colome. Odorizzi, for example, could be traded to a team seeking starting pitching that misses out on a marquee free agent like Yu Darvish.

No progress on Realmuto-to-Nats swap
The Nationals continue to look into acquiring Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, sources told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi. However, although the two clubs have remained in touch, they haven't yet been able to make progress on a potential trade.

According to Morosi, the Marlins have asked that a deal include one of the Nationals' top two prospects -- outfielders Victor Robles and Juan Soto -- and the Nats have said no. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro had previously reported that Robles was part of Miami's asking price.

Last week, SiriusXM Radio's Craig Mish reported that Washington was the "team most heavily engaged in trade discussions" for Realmuto, who is one of the top young catchers in the Major Leagues. The 26-year-old hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers and 65 RBIs in 141 games for Miami last year and has one of the best arms in baseball behind the plate. Realmuto is also under contractual control through 2021.

Video: J.T. Realmuto is the No. 5 catcher right now

The reigning National League East champions have been looking to upgrade at catcher, and Realmuto would likely be the best option if the Nationals can manage to swing a trade.

But it would be hard to part with Robles or Soto. Robles is ranked No. 6 overall among all prospects, according to MLB Pipeline. Soto comes in at No. 29.

Robles hit .250/.308/.458 with three extra-base hits and four RBIs in a brief 13-game stint with the Nationals last season. The 20-year-old hit .300/.382/.493 with 10 homers and 47 RBIs in 114 games split between Class A Advanced Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg while in the Minors.

Soto is 19 years old and spent 2017 with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nationals and Class A Hagerstown. He hit .351/.415/.505 with three home runs and 18 RBIs in 32 games across the two levels.

Atkins discusses potential Donaldson extension
The Blue Jays are preparing for the potential departure of superstar Josh Donaldson after this year, but they aren't necessarily closing the door on a contract extension for the former American League MVP.

Donaldson, 32, is entering his final season under club control and can hit free agency next offseason. Speaking at a recent Pitch Talks event, Toronto general manager Ross Atkins said the club has internally compiled its assessment for what it would potentially offer the slugging third baseman

"We do have that number," Atkins said, per The Athletic. "We have come up with a clear walkaway that we would be willing to commit to him to extend [the contract] for him to remain a Blue Jay probably for the rest of his career."

Donaldson has been linked to multiple trade rumors this offseason -- most notably with the Cardinals -- however, the Blue Jays have not showed inclination that they would trade the three-time All-Star, at least not yet. Toronto also has Vladimir Guerrero Jr., MLB Pipeline's No. 3 overall prospect, waiting in the wings. The club also traded for versatile utility infielder Yangervis Solarte this offseason to bolster its infield depth, as injuries have kept shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and second baseman Devon Travis out for lengthy periods the past few seasons.

Jay on Orioles' radar
The Orioles, in need of a left-handed outfield bat, are interested in free agent Jon Jay, according to MASN Sports. Jay, who turns 33 in March, slashed .296/.374/.375 in 141 games for the Cubs last season. Prior to that, he spent six seasons with the Cardinals and one with the Padres.

Baltimore has previously been connected to free agents Carlos Gonzalez and Jarrod Dyson, seeking a left-handed bat to complement an outfield group that currently includes Adam Jones, Trey Mancini, Austin Hays and Joey Rickard, all right-handed hitters.

Hosmer seeking deal longer than seven years
The representatives of free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer have continuously been "pushing for a contract of more than seven years," a source told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi on Wednesday.

Morosi also notes that with the Royals dealing Brandon Moss to the A's earlier in the week, Kansas City became a better fit to re-sign Hosmer, and the club's "capacity to pay him" has increased.

Hosmer, 28, reportedly has a $140 million offer on the table from the Padres and a $147 million proposal from the Royals, but he is hoping a potential suitor might reach a bit higher.

Video: Castrovince on if Hosmer will re-sign with Royals

The left-handed-hitting first baseman recorded a career-best batting line of .318/.385/.498 and tied a career high with 25 homers in 2017 with Kansas City. He also played in all 162 games last season and has appeared in at least 128 games in every season of his career.

Hosmer, taken with the No. 3 overall pick by the Royals in the 2008 Draft, is a .284/.342/.439 career hitter with 127 home runs and 566 RBIs in seven big league seasons, all of which have come with Kansas City.

Melky receiving interest
Several teams looking for a veteran outfield bat are eyeing Melky Cabrera, including one of his former teams.

The Royals are interested in bringing back Cabrera, while the Orioles, Marlins and Pirates are among other teams considering him, according to a report by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Cabrera, 33, hit .285/.324/.423 with 17 home runs, one short of his career high, for the White Sox and Royals last season. A switch hitter, Cabrera got on base equally well from each side of the plate but slugged better against lefties (.464) than righties (.409).

Cabrera had some of his best seasons with Kansas City, though he struggled down the stretch with the Royals in 2017. He could provide some stability with unproven youngsters Jorge Bonifacio and Jorge Soler slated to get considerable playing time at right field and designated hitter.

The Orioles, meanwhile, currently have an exclusively right-handed outfield, so Cabrera's lefty bat could balance out the lineup. Currently, Adam Jones, Trey Mancini, Joey Rickard and Mark Trumbo are expected to get time in the outfield, and top prospect Austin Hays, another righty, is in position to join the group at some point.

The Marlins could use experience as the only outfielders on their 40-man roster are three rookies -- Lewis Brinson, Magneuris Sierra and Braxton Lee -- with a combined 119 plate appearances in the Majors.

Cabrera could be a fit for the Pirates as a stop-gap measure after the team traded Andrew McCutchen to the Giants. Currently the team is expected to play Adam Frazier and Jordan Luplow in left field, although top hitting prospect Austin Meadows could be ready for the big leagues soon.