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Sources: Santana joining Phils on 3-year deal

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies just shifted their rebuild into a higher gear.

Sources told MLB.com on Friday afternoon that the Phillies have agreed to a three-year, $60 million contract with power-hitting switch-hitter Carlos Santana. It includes a $17.5 million club option for 2021. It is without a no-trade clause, providing the Phillies additional roster flexibility in the future.

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies just shifted their rebuild into a higher gear.

Sources told MLB.com on Friday afternoon that the Phillies have agreed to a three-year, $60 million contract with power-hitting switch-hitter Carlos Santana. It includes a $17.5 million club option for 2021. It is without a no-trade clause, providing the Phillies additional roster flexibility in the future.

Phillies deal Galvis to Padres

The deal, which the team has not confirmed because it is pending a physical, surprised many because the Phillies had maintained throughout the offseason that they wanted to provide further opportunities for their young players. Sources dismissed reports that the Phillies planned to make a play for free-agent pitchers such as Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish or send a large package of prospects to Baltimore for Manny Machado, who will be a free agent after next season.

But the Phillies loved Santana on a three-year deal.

Santana, 31, hit .259 with 23 home runs, 79 RBIs and an .818 OPS in 2017 with the Indians. He has a career .365 on-base percentage and an .810 OPS. The Phillies like hitters that control the strike zone, and Santana excels at that.

Video: Zolecki on inserting Santana into the Phillies' order

The Phillies love the idea of Santana and Rhys Hoskins teaming up in the middle of the lineup with on-base percentage threats Odubel Herrera, Cesar Hernandez and J.P. Crawford surrounding them.

Of course, Santana's arrival means some players will be shuffled or lose playing time. Santana is a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman and is expected to get the majority of playing time there, which means Hoskins will play mostly left field. Former Phillies coaches thought Hoskins might actually be a better left fielder than first baseman. Hoskins' move to the outfield creates a logjam, with Herrera, Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr.

The Phillies might just keep those outfielders, understanding it is rare for four or five outfielders to stay healthy and productive over a six-month season, while providing manager Gabe Kapler roster flexibility. Still, if the right deal came along the Phillies could include Herrera, Williams or Altherr in a trade to help them acquire starting pitching, which is something the club considers a priority.

Video: Zolecki on Phillies trading Galvis to the Padres

(Hernandez no longer seems like a trade candidate, following Freddy Galvis' trade Friday to the Padres.)

The Phillies would like to acquire a young controllable starter, like Gerrit Cole, Chris Archer or Danny Duffy, but the asking prices at the moment are steep. The Phillies plan to be patient and see how the market develops.

And while it is true that the Phillies have no interest in Arrieta at his current asking price, who knows? If he lingers on the market until late January or early February and the Phillies can get him on a three-year contract they could jump at it.

Because the Indians made Santana a qualifying offer, the Phillies will lose their second-round pick in the 2018 Draft, plus $500,000 in international signing bonus money. But the Phillies acquired $500,000 in international signing bonus money Thursday, when they traded their Rule 5 Draft pick to the White Sox. They also consider right-hander Enyel De Los Santos, whom they acquired in the Galvis deal, comparable to a second-round Draft pick.

Either way, they believe it is a small price to pay because they consider Santana a middle-of-the-lineup bat that will help the Phillies make a push to .500 or maybe even better if everything breaks right. And an improvement in the standings in 2018 only can help their cause next winter, when they are truly expected to open their wallet and pursue potential free agents such as Bryce Harper and Machado.

Video: Zinkie on fantasy impact of Santana to Phillies

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Although Santana is moving from a lineup that placed sixth in runs scored last season to one that ranked 27th, he remains a corner-infield option in shallow leagues after averaging 28 homers, 83 RBIs and 89 runs over the past two years. Additionally, Santana's ability to reach base (lifetime .365 OBP) and hit for power should be a boon for the production of Hoskins, Maikel Franco and Herrera. But with Hoskins moving to left field to accommodate Santana's arrival, a pair of intriguing youngsters -- Altherr and Williams -- will have to compete for playing time in right.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Philadelphia Phillies, Carlos Santana

Angels sign Cozart to three-year deal

Career shortstop shows versatility with willingness to shift to third base
MLB.com @mi_guardado

Zack Cozart had been mentally preparing himself for the possibility of playing second base for the Angels when he received a call from general manager Billy Eppler on Wednesday. Eppler explained that he had an opportunity to acquire second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers, so he wanted to gauge Cozart's willingness to shift to third, a position the longtime shortstop had never played professionally.

"When I found that out, I was a little shocked because everything was happening so quick," Cozart said. "But at the end of the day, I want to win."

Zack Cozart had been mentally preparing himself for the possibility of playing second base for the Angels when he received a call from general manager Billy Eppler on Wednesday. Eppler explained that he had an opportunity to acquire second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers, so he wanted to gauge Cozart's willingness to shift to third, a position the longtime shortstop had never played professionally.

"When I found that out, I was a little shocked because everything was happening so quick," Cozart said. "But at the end of the day, I want to win."

On Friday, Cozart agreed to a three-year, $38 million deal with the Angels, who continued their busy offseason by adding an All-Star infielder to beef up their lineup and deepen an already impressive defensive unit.

Angels' stacked lineup a credit to Eppler's skill

Cozart, 32, is coming off a career season, batting .297 with a .933 OPS, 24 home runs and 63 RBIs in 122 games for the Reds in 2017. Cozart, a career .254 hitter, attributed the success to some tweaks to his batting stance. Instead of starting with his hands high, Cozart began resting his bat on his shoulder during his set-up, which he called a "game-changer."

Video: CIN@MIL: Cozart smacks a solo homer to left-center

"It freed me up mentally," Cozart said. "I didn't have tension, I didn't have to think about anything than seeing the ball and hitting or taking a good pitch."

Though Cozart exclusively played shortstop during his seven seasons in Cincinnati, he found that few teams had openings at the position when he hit free agency. One of the only teams that did, the Padres, filled their shortstop void by acquiring Freddy Galvis from the Phillies on Friday. Less than an hour later, the Angels announced they had signed Cozart to play third base.

Get to know Cozart's bat, glove and donkey

Eppler said Cozart's openness to playing two positions affirmed his confidence that the Angels were targeting the right player.

Video: Guardado on Angels signing Cozart, him playing third

"That right there made me feel extremely good," Eppler said. "Not only that we'd get the right player from an ability standpoint, but we got the right player from the character standpoint."

Cozart said he plans to seek advice from Eric Chavez, a special assistant with the Angels, and former big league third baseman Scott Rolen as he prepares for his move to third. He will also be available to back up both middle-infield spots, which is key since the Angels are seriously considering moving to a six-man rotation as part of their plan to accommodate Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani.

Video: Zinkie discusses fantasy impact of Cozart on Angels

"If we do go with a six-man and carry 13 pitchers, versatility and flexibility will be everything for this roster," Eppler said. "That played a part in the construction of the roster."

Cozart will join an infield that already includes shortstop Andrelton Simmons, catcher Martin Maldonado and Kinsler, all of whom have won Gold Glove Awards. The Angels' outfield also features Kole Calhoun and Justin Upton, who were Gold Glove finalists this year, and Mike Trout.

"We know from a run-prevention standpoint, we have a chance to have a pretty special infield," Eppler said.

Video: Eppler on Angels signing Cozart, moving to third base

The addition of Cozart, a right-handed hitter, leaves the Angels with a heavily right-handed lineup, as Calhoun, Ohtani and Luis Valbuena are the only lefty bats among the club's regulars.

The move also creates a crunch at first base, where the Angels have Valbuena, C.J. Cron and Albert Pujols on their depth chart. Valbuena and Pujols are currently projected to garner the majority of the starts there, which could make Cron expendable.

"We don't have to fill that out right now," Eppler said. "We'll let the rest of the winter play out before we start figuring exactly how that stuff is going to fall."

After playing alongside Joey Votto in Cincinnati, Cozart said he is looking forward to joining forces with another baseball superstar in Trout. Cozart's friendship with Votto will continue to be memorialized in the form of a special gift, however. Last Spring Training, Votto told Cozart he would buy him a donkey if he made the All-Star team, a promise Votto fulfilled in July after Cozart earned a trip to his first Midsummer Classic.

"The donkey is actually still in Cincinnati at the place originally," Cozart said. "I guess it was too young for me to take home. I was waiting to see what happened this offseason. Now I got to get some land. The donkey will be staying around Cincy, and now that I can start looking for some land, I'll officially be a donkey owner."

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)

Coming off a breakout season that included 24 homers and an impressive .297/.385/.548 slash line over 507 plate appearances, Cozart would have been a shallow-league option regardless of his free-agent destination. But by landing with a revamped Angels club, the veteran could be in position to record 80 RBIs and 100 runs scored if he secures a premium lineup spot amongst Trout, Upton and Kinsler. Meanwhile, the recent additions of Kinsler, Cozart and Ohtani further solidify Trout as a lock to go first overall in all formats and Upton as a desirable early-round selection.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Los Angeles Angels, Zack Cozart

Rangers acquire Moore from Giants

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have acquired left-handed pitcher Matt Moore and $750,000 in international bonus pool money from the Giants, the club announced.

The Rangers paid a nominal price in prospects, giving up Minor League right-handed pitchers Sam Wolff and Israel Cruz. Neither were among the Rangers' top 30 prospects according to MLBPipeline.com. The Rangers will assume all of Moore's $9 million contract for 2018. Moore also has a club option of $10 million for 2019 with a $750,000 buyout.

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have acquired left-handed pitcher Matt Moore and $750,000 in international bonus pool money from the Giants, the club announced.

The Rangers paid a nominal price in prospects, giving up Minor League right-handed pitchers Sam Wolff and Israel Cruz. Neither were among the Rangers' top 30 prospects according to MLBPipeline.com. The Rangers will assume all of Moore's $9 million contract for 2018. Moore also has a club option of $10 million for 2019 with a $750,000 buyout.

Hot Stove Tracker

The trade was designed to clear payroll for the Giants while the Rangers are counting on a comeback from a starting pitcher who was once headed for top-of-the-rotation status before being derailed by an elbow injury.

"He is a young, 28-year-old left-hander," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Despite not having his best year last year, he is coming off pitching almost 400 innings the past two years. He's got a four-pitch mix and has had some success in both leagues."

Moore was 6-15 with a 5.52 ERA in 31 starts and one relief appearance for the Giants this past season. The 15 losses were tied for the most in the National League and the ERA was also the highest.

"We feel like there are some reasons why we feel he will bounce back," Daniels said. "I talked to him tonight, he has a good mindset and is really driven to bounce back."

Video: COL@SF: Moore whiffs six over six-plus shutout frames

Moore was once a top prospect for the Rays and considered a future star. He was 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 27 starts for the Rays in 2013 and was named to the American League All-Star team. He was just 24 years old.

But he made just two starts in 2014 before coming down with elbow problems that led to Tommy John reconstruction surgery. Moore returned to full strength in 2016 and made a career-high 33 starts, finishing 13-12 with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

The Rays traded him to the Giants on Aug. 1, 2016. The Rangers also tried to trade for him at the same time. Although he fell off last season, he stayed healthy all year and pitched 174 1/3 innings after 198 1/3 the year before.

"The circumstances have allowed us to pick him up for a little bit less than in the past," Daniels said.

The Rangers now have five veteran starters in Cole Hamels, Martin Perez, Mike Minor, Doug Fister and Moore. There is still a possibility Minor could pitch in the bullpen and Matt Bush could be converted into a starter. But Daniels said the intention right now is for Minor to stretch out as a starter.

The Rangers could add more starting pitching before the offseason is over, but it is more likely to be for depth rather than a front-line starter. But they are starting to push the limits of the financial resources they had planned to use toward starting pitching this winter.

As much as the Rangers may have flirted with Zack Greinke or Jake Arrieta at the Winter Meetings, those possibilities appear dead. Any potential reunion with Yu Darvish is also fading away.

"I have been pretty consistent all along in saying we weren't going to be playing at the top of the market," Daniels said.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Texas Rangers, Matt Moore

Angels' stacked lineup a credit to Eppler's skill

Halos' GM fortifies roster by landing Ohtani, Kinsler and Cozart in 8-day span
MLB.com @philgrogers

Welcome to the offseason of Billy Eppler.

The Angels' third-year general manager added Zack Cozart as his third baseman on Friday, capping a frenetic eight-day period that includes the Angels winning the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes and a trade for second baseman Ian Kinsler, who filled the team's biggest hole.

Welcome to the offseason of Billy Eppler.

The Angels' third-year general manager added Zack Cozart as his third baseman on Friday, capping a frenetic eight-day period that includes the Angels winning the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes and a trade for second baseman Ian Kinsler, who filled the team's biggest hole.

Video: Angels' lineup gets new look with multiple additions

All of this followed Eppler throwing an extra season at Justin Upton so that Upton wouldn't exercise the opt-out clause in his contract. The deal set the recent events into motion, demonstrating that owner Arte Moreno's franchise is acting with a sense of urgency in trying to surround Mike Trout, the game's best player, with a team that can get him back into the postseason.

There's still some work to be done for sure, mostly on the pitching staff. But the lineup that the Angels have put together should be one of the best two-way collections in the game.

Cozart, who has agreed to a three-year contract, is a perfect fit. He's played shortstop exclusively in his first seven seasons and is coming off his best showing. He ranked fourth among Major League shortstops with a 5.0 fWAR, just ahead of new teammate Andrelton Simmons (4.9).

Simmons long ago established himself as maybe the game's top defensive shortstop and had a breakthrough season at the plate in 2017, hitting .278 with 14 homers. Heading into his age-32 season, Cozart is a solid shortstop (+2 Defensive Runs Saved this season, down from +8 in 2016 and +19 in 2014) who projects to be strong defensively at third.

It's a bit of an unknown, but a solid defensive shortstop should be able to make the transition just fine. The White Sox Yolmer Sanchez was +8 DRS last season, the Reds' Eugenio Suarez (with the Tigers) was +5 DRS and the Mets' Asdrubal Cabrera was +1 DRS. The Astros won the World Series with a converted shortstop (Alex Bregman) at third base.

The combination of Simmons and Cozart gives manager Mike Scioscia one of the strongest left sides in the game, which fits right in with the theme. Kinsler didn't have a great year at the plate last season (a career-low .725 OPS even though he hit 22 home runs) but was one of the game's best defensive second basemen, using his hands and his experience to make highlight-reel plays on a regular basis.

Video: Must C Combo: Iglesias, Kinsler wow on defense

With catcher Martin Maldonado, Simmons, Kinsler and Trout, the Angels are about as strong as you can be up the middle. Cozart makes this an excellent infield (although that could be tested if the Ohtani signing pushes Albert Pujols onto the field for more than the six games he played at first last season).

Cozart was a tease throughout his stay in Cincinnati, and he leaves there in a way that's unproductive for the Reds. Because few teams were looking to upgrade at shortstop last summer, general manager Dick Williams held onto Cozart even though he was using a three-for-two time share between second base and shortstop with Cozart, Scooter Gennett and Jose Peraza.

While Cozart had a breakout season at the plate (.297/.385/.548 with 24 home runs), the Reds didn't make him a qualifying offer. Mike Moustakas might have created more of a buzz, but Cozart fills the need nicely and leaves more resources to pursue pitching upgrades.

Video: Cozart discusses joining Angels, desire to win

A couple weeks ago, Angels assistant general manager Steve Martone told MLB Network Radio that the Angels weren't prioritizing the addition of a third baseman because they expected a bounce-back season from Luis Valbuena. He struggled in the first season of a two-year deal, hitting .199 with 22 homers and a .727 OPS.

Valbuena could be a big part of the Angels' success next season. He drove the ball better in the second half of the season than just about any time of his career, and his left-handed bat and versatility will play a huge role given that Kole Calhoun is the only left-handed-hitting regular.

Video: LAA@HOU: Valbuena rips a go-ahead two-run double

With Ohtani, Trout and Simmons on the same roster, the Angels were going to be a blast to watch. The addition of Cozart and Kinsler just might give fans a chance to watch them in October.

They're not one of the super teams yet. But thanks to everything Eppler has had his hands in, they're one of the super interesting teams, for sure.

Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Los Angeles Angels, Zack Cozart

Padres land Galvis in trade with Phillies

MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres filled their seemingly annual shortstop vacancy on Friday morning, swinging a deal to land Freddy Galvis from Philadelphia for Minor League right-hander Enyel De Los Santos.

The 28-year-old Galvis will be a free agent after the season, but for now, he fills one of the Padres' biggest needs. In all likelihood, he'll be their Opening Day shortstop, and he's a huge defensive upgrade over the past three seasons. That's especially important for the Majors' most ground-ball happy rotation.

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres filled their seemingly annual shortstop vacancy on Friday morning, swinging a deal to land Freddy Galvis from Philadelphia for Minor League right-hander Enyel De Los Santos.

The 28-year-old Galvis will be a free agent after the season, but for now, he fills one of the Padres' biggest needs. In all likelihood, he'll be their Opening Day shortstop, and he's a huge defensive upgrade over the past three seasons. That's especially important for the Majors' most ground-ball happy rotation.

"Getting some stability in that spot is going to be a very good thing for our ballclub, our pitching staff," said Padres general manager A.J. Preller. "He's a winning baseball player."

Galvis, who batted .255/.309/.382 with 12 homers in 2017, also figures to serve as a veteran clubhouse presence on an extremely young offense. All along, Galvis was the club's top target at short, according to people in the organization, though free agents Zack Cozart and Alcides Escobar were also considered.

Video: Justice discusses Galvis being traded to the Padres

It's likely Galvis spends only 2018 in San Diego, with No. 4 prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. on the horizon. In that regard, he's the Padres fourth consecutive one-year stopgap at short, after Clint Barmes, Alexei Ramirez and Erick Aybar in the last three years.

But unlike that trio, Galvis arrived via trade and he's still in his prime. Plus, Tatis' emergence this year made a one-year option very likely. The Padres feel as though they have their shortstop of the future. And now they have their bridge to him, too.

"I don't think it necessarily has to be only a one-year fit," Preller said. "But when other guys push to make the big league club, you're not locked into a four-year commitment. Ultimately, we looked at that as a positive. We'll see how it plays out. We'll still have flexibility here down the road."

At the Winter Meetings this week, San Diego narrowed its list of shortstops, weighing the cost of free agents vs. the acquisition cost of trade candidates. For Galvis, the price was De Los Santos, a 21-year-old hard-throwing right-hander. The Padres also designated right-hander Jose Ruiz for assignment, creating room for Galvis on the 40-man roster.

It's unclear whether De Los Santos projects as a starter in the long term. But he's been a very effective starting pitcher in the Padres' system. In 26 appearances for Double-A San Antonio last season, De Los Santos posted a 3.78 ERA with 138 strikeouts in 150 innings.

"Enyel's going to be a very good pitcher," Preller said. "They hit on a good one. I think you've got to give up something to get something."

For the Padres, who are admittedly looking to the future as much as the present, there are questions about dealing Minor League talent for a one-year option at shortstop. But their pitching depth made De Los Santos expendable. He was the club's No. 13 prospect, but the No. 8 starting pitcher.

In Preller's eyes, that was a fair price for Galvis, who has a number of ties to the organization. He was signed by VP of scouting Don Welke out of Venezuela, and he worked with new hitting coach Matt Stairs in Philadelphia.

"He's a guy that we view as a very good defensive player, a leader on the field, which is what you want from the shortstop position," said Preller. "He's got tremendous hands, a great release. From an offensive standpoint … there's tremendous growth in there."

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Set to hold a full-time role with the Padres, Galvis could help those in 15-team leagues if he receives a chance to fill a premium lineup spot. After all, the shortstop exhibited improved plate discipline last season (career-best 0.41 BB/K ratio) and has produced 32 homers, 128 RBIs, 132 runs scored and 31 steals across the past two campaigns. Meanwhile, Galvis' departure opens up the starting shortstop position for prospect J.P. Crawford in Philadelphia. Although he is likely not ready to contribute in shallow formats, Crawford should be a viable option in NL-only leagues and may earn a spot in 15-team mixed settings next season.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

San Diego Padres, Freddy Galvis

Dodgers reportedly add righty Koehler to 'pen

MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers apparently made their first offseason move to restock the bullpen on Friday by reaching a one-year agreement with free-agent right-hander Tom Koehler.

The club has not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical exam, according to an SB Nation report.

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers apparently made their first offseason move to restock the bullpen on Friday by reaching a one-year agreement with free-agent right-hander Tom Koehler.

The club has not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical exam, according to an SB Nation report.

The Dodgers are looking for potential replacements for setup man Brandon Morrow -- who parlayed a workhorse World Series into a two-year, $21 million free-agent contract to be the closer for the Chicago Cubs -- and lefty Tony Watson.

Koehler, 31, was non-tendered by Toronto, which acquired him from Miami in August. Koehler was 0-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 15 games (14 in relief) with the Blue Jays after going 1-5 with a 7.92 ERA in 12 starts with the Marlins. As a converted starter, Koehler would fit the multi-inning reliever role the Dodgers rely on with most of their starting pitchers lasting barely five innings per game.

Video: Gurnick on Dodgers needing to boost bullpen

"As teams are trying to maximize roster spots, I think it's going to become more common," general manager Farhan Zaidi said of the multi-inning reliever during this week's Winter Meetings.

Koehler had been almost exclusively a starting pitcher until the trade. At the Meetings, Zaidi said the club continues to be intrigued by starters whose stuff "plays up" when they are moved to the bullpen and can shed the mindset some starters have of pacing themselves.

"It's proven over and over, guys' stuff plays up and guys have success going from one role to the other," said Zaidi. "It can give guys a second career."

Koehler led the Marlins' staff with 11 wins in 2015. If he's put in the bullpen, he would become a logical option to compete for a late-inning role with Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia (coming off Tommy John surgery), Josh Fields and Tony Cingrani, obtained in a non-waiver Trade Deadline deal.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Tom Koehler

MLB Buzz: Yanks talk to Pirates about Cole

MLB.com

The Hot Stove is open for business. As the top free agents begin to ink new deals and clubs begin to make the moves they think will vault them into contention or put them over the top, MLB.com will have you covered with all the latest buzz right here.

Hot Stove Tracker

The Hot Stove is open for business. As the top free agents begin to ink new deals and clubs begin to make the moves they think will vault them into contention or put them over the top, MLB.com will have you covered with all the latest buzz right here.

Hot Stove Tracker

Yankees discussing trade for Pirates' Cole
The Yankees and Pirates are discussing a deal that would send starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to New York in exchange for a package of players that would possibly include outfielder Clint Frazier, according to an initial report Friday by the New York Post and later tweeted by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

It's been widely reported that the Yankees are in the market for starting pitching. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington did not make it clear Thursday at the conclusion of the Winter Meetings whether his club intends to be a buyer or a seller, but Cole has been linked to the Yankees several times this week.

The Pirates are said to covet a haul of controllable prospects who supplement their existing young core, should management decide to deal their veterans and focus on 2019. Pitchers who are ready to make an impact in the Major Leagues are said to be on the Pirates' wish list, and Yankees right-hander Chance Adams is thought to be a fit. Adams, the Yankees' No. 2 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, reached Triple-A in 2017.

Frazier, 23, is a former top prospect who debuted with the Yankees in July. The promising outfielder hit .231/.268./.448 with four home runs, nine doubles, four triples and 17 RBIs in 39 games with the Bronx Bombers in 2017. He missed just over a month with an oblique muscle injury, but was able to return to action in September. Should Frazier be moved to the Pirates, he could soon join Pittsburgh's top overall prospect per MLBPipeline, Austin Meadows, in the outfield after the two players grew up playing for rival high schools in Loganville, Ga.

Cole made 32 starts last season and went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 203 innings. The 27-year-old right-hander is entering his second arbitration process and is under club control through the 2019 season. The Yankees actually selected Cole in the first round of the 2008 Draft, but he did not sign and went on to pitch at UCLA before being selected by the Pirates with the first overall pick in the 2011 Draft.

Frazier, the fifth overall pick by the Indians in the 2013 Draft, has already been part of a blockbuster trade. The Yankees acquired Frazier as part of a package of players from Cleveland in return for Andrew Miller at the non-waiver Trade Deadline in 2016.

O's talking to multiple teams about Machado
A slew of suitors continue to be in talks with the Orioles about star third baseman Manny Machado, who is entering his final season before free agency.

The Orioles have received offers from "several teams," sources told MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, and MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli has reported that Baltimore has made "good progress" in trade talks with numerous teams.

The Cardinals recently traded several prospects for Miami's Marcell Ozuna but still have several that intrigue the Orioles. A source told MASN's Roch Kubatko that Baltimore wants Jordan Hicks, who has a 100 mph fastball and is the team's No. 13 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com. Catcher Carson Kelly, the team's No. 2 prospect and baseball's No. 32 overall prospect could also be included in a deal.

Other teams interested in the 25-year-old Machado include the Yankees, Giants, Red Sox and D-backs, but the most aggressive suitor has reportedly been the White Sox.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn wouldn't comment on the team's pursuit of Machado on Thursday.

The White Sox, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, have discussed a package for Machado that would include either right-hander Lucas Giolito or right-hander Michael Kopech (MLB's 10th-ranked prospect, per MLBPipeline.com) but not both.

"Nothing has changed in terms of what we are trying to accomplish," Hahn said. "We're very interested in adding premium young talent to what we've already built, but at the same time we're not going to rob Peter to pay Paul, if that makes sense.

"We are headed towards a bright future. We want to make moves that are going to enhance that, not necessarily take away from it."

If Machado is indeed dealt, he'd like to return to his desired position: shortstop. He came up through the Orioles' system as a top shortstop prospect, but the presence of veteran J.J. Hardy caused the team to move Machado to third base, where he became one of baseball's best.

It's believed that Machado would like to test the market next winter, so any team acquiring him would be unlikely to get him to agree to a contract extension.

Machado is one of the elite young players in the game, clubbing at least 30 home runs over the last three seasons and finishing top-five in the American League MVP voting in two of the past three years.

Video: Orioles ponder Machado options, a move by week's end

Twins, Mets looking at Napoli
The Twins and Mets "are interested" in free-agent first baseman Mike Napoli, according to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News.

Fraley noted that both clubs have ties to Napoli, as Twins general manager Thad Levine was the assistant GM for the Rangers when Napoli played for Texas and Mets manager Mickey Callaway was a coach for the Indians during the veteran's time with Cleveland.

Napoli would conceivably slide in as the Twins' designated hitter, and he could give Mets another option alongside young first baseman Dominic Smith.

The 36-year-old Napoli batted .193/.285/.428 in 2017 but bashed 29 home runs while battling a torn ligament in his right hand. He had surgery this offseason to repair the ligament and could provide his next team with decent pop from the right side of the plate.

Napoli, a 12-year Major League veteran, is a career .246/.346/.475 hitter and has 267 home runs in 1,392 games with the Angels, Red Sox, Rangers and Indians.

Angels inquire about Harrison
The Angels, who traded for Ian Kinsler earlier in the week and signed infielder Zack Cozart to a three-year contract on Friday, might not be finished adding to their already improved lineup for 2018.

The Angels have talked with the Pirates about acquiring second baseman/outfielder Josh Harrison, according to Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register. It's unclear where exactly Harrison would fit in with Los Angeles, but it's possible he could be used in a super-utility role similar to that of the Cubs' Ben Zobrist or the Astros' Marwin Gonzalez.

Video: CIN@PIT: Harrison makes a terrific diving stop in 5th

Kinsler's contract runs out after the 2019 season, so Harrison could eventually slide into a full-time job at second base. The 30-year-old Harrison batted .272/.339/.432 with a career-high 16 home runs in 128 games this year while being selected to the National League All-Star team.

Harrison is under contract through 2018, but Fletcher noted a potential downside to trading for Harrison: The Angels would likely have to part with a promising prospect to obtain him, and they already have a lineup dominated by right-handed hitters.

Arcia agrees to deal with Japan's Fighters
Oswaldo Arcia, who last appeared in the Major Leagues in 2016 with the Padres, Marlins, Rays and Twins, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Heyman reported that the deal is worth $1.7 million and comes with a mutual option for the 2019 season and up to $300,000 more in incentives.

Arcia is a career .235/.298/.422 hitter at the big league level and has hit 44 home runs and drove in 131 runs in 288 games over four years in the Majors.

The 26-year-old outfielder mashed in 2017 with Triple-A Reno, an affiliate of the D-backs, batting .326/.410/.639 with 24 homers and 87 RBIs in 96 games.

He will look to restore his value with a big year in Japan in hopes of landing a Major League deal next offseason.

Red Sox looking to sign both Martinez and Hosmer
The Red Sox have been pursuing a slugger to upgrade the middle of their lineup this offseason, but it now seems possible Boston is trying to land both J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer.

According to the Boston Herald, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski neither confirmed nor denied the report of his club trying to sign both free agent sluggers.

Martinez is coming off a season in which he hit 45 home runs and slugged an MLB-best .690. Hosmer had a career season in 2017 as well, slashing .318/.385/.498 with 25 home runs.

The Red Sox are looking to upgrade the offense particularly after the American League East rival Yankees landed National League Most Valuable Player Giancarlo Stanton in a deal with the Marlins last week, pairing Stanton with slugger Aaron Judge in the heart of New York's lineup.

Cain garnering interest from Jays
One name we haven't heard much about on the free-agent market yet is Lorenzo Cain. But that might be about to change.

The Blue Jays are one of the teams with interest in the veteran outfielder, according to a report by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. Toronto prefers a four-year deal, according to Heyman.

Cain, 31, enjoyed another productive season on both sides of the field in 2017, his seventh year with Kansas City. The speedy outfielder hit .300/.363/.440 with 15 home runs, 49 RBIs and 26 stolen bases while playing one of the best center fields in baseball. Cain ranked fifth in the Majors in the Statcast™ defensive metric outs above average, with 15.

He'd significantly upgrade a Toronto outfield that has two open spots, and if signed, it's possible he could push Kevin Pillar to a corner spot. Pillar is known for making spectacular, highlight-reel catches, but Cain rates better than Pillar in many defensive metrics. The Blue Jays have little roster certainty in either corner outfield spot, with longtime right fielder Jose Bautista gone and left fielder Steve Pearce presenting more of a versatile, bat-first option. Toronto is expected to have competition for Cain, who reportedly also intrigues the Mets and Giants.

Mets have 'serious talks' with Tribe about Kipnis
The Mets have been in the market for a second baseman this offseason, and according to SB Nation's Chris Cotillo, that search has led to "serious talks" with the Indians about acquiring Jason Kipnis.

The 30-year-old Kipnis struggled in an injury-shortened 2017 campaign, slashing .232/.291/.414 with 12 home runs in 90 games. In 2016, he helped the Indians win the American League pennant by posting an .811 OPS with 23 homers in 156 games.

With another potential option off the table in Ian Kinsler, whom the Tigers traded to the Angels on Wednesday, New York continues to seek a second baseman as its biggest offseason priority.

In the case of Kipnis, he could be a fit in the sense that he is without a true position in Cleveland after being moved to center field in 2017, and the Mets could use a versatile position player.

Nats look to fortify staff
The Nationals have been searching for additions to their pitching staff and added one Wednesday night, reaching agreement on a two-year deal with reliever Brandon Kintzler, a source told MLB.com's Jamal Collier. The club hasn't confirmed the news.

Washington was looking for bullpen help and exploring the trade market for a starter, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported Wednesday night. Heyman listed Kintzler, Addison Reed, and Steve Cishek (who reportedly has a deal with the Cubs) among the relief options on the Nats' radar. The club has also expressed interest in right-hander Hector Rondon, per Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post, though the Nationals are not considered the favorite to sign him.

Kintzler returns to the Nationals after being dealt by the Twins at the Trade Deadline. The right-hander made 27 appearances for the Nats, going 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA. He was 4-3 with a 3.03 ERA and 29 saves overall in 2017.

Video: Rizzo discusses the Nationals' offseason goals

As far as bolstering their rotation, the Nats were linked to free-agent right-hander Jake Arrieta on Tuesday, but Heyman says Washington isn't sure it has the financial resources to sign him, so the club is also exploring the trade market. Those options include the Rays' Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi, as well as the D-backs' Zack Greinke.

Washington general manager Mike Rizzo has said he is looking to add only to the back end of the rotation this season, rather than the front. Rizzo is looking at both free-agent and trade options to address the need.

"We're open to both," Rizzo said on Tuesday. "I think we're going to find the best avenue for us and what gives us the most value in any type of deal. The thing with free agency is it doesn't cost you any prospects, but the trade market is sometimes more beneficial."

Source: Mariners, Nicasio have deal
The Mariners have reached a two-year, $17 million agreement with free-agent reliever Juan Nicasio, a source told MLB Network insiders Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman on Wednesday. The club has not confirmed a deal.

Jim Bowden of Sirius XM Radio reported earlier in the day that the Mariners were a "strongly rumored possibility" to sign Nicasio.

Video: CHC@STL: Nicasio notches four-out save to seal win

The 31-year-old righty topped the National League in appearances in 2017 with 76 and recorded a 2.61 ERA while striking out 72 in 72 1/3 innings split between the Pirates, Phillies and Cardinals. He allowed just two runs in 11 innings while accruing four saves down the stretch in serving as St. Louis' closer.

Nicasio's two seasons primarily as a reliever have been easily his two best. Overall, he is 12-11 with a 3.38 ERA with 228 strikeouts in 205 innings in relief, compared to 25-26 with a 5.11 ERA in 424 2/3 innings across 82 starts in his career.

CarGo pursuit heating up
Following arguably the worst season of his career, and for a Rockies club that otherwise has depth in the outfield, Carlos Gonzalez may not be returning to Colorado. However, multiple teams at the Winter Meetings reportedly are showing interest in the three-time All-Star, including the Blue Jays, Orioles, Astros, A's and Phillies, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

The Rays, Royals and Giants are also "believed to be keeping an eye on him," ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported. Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said on Tuesday that the club still has interest in the two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, but that it has been more focused on addressing needs in the bullpen, at first base and at catcher.

Video: SD@COL: CarGo rockets 13th jack, then watches it sail

Gonzalez, who is among a sizable number of outfielders entering their age-32 seasons, has been widely speculated to sign a short-term contract to re-establish his value. He hit 221/.299/.338 in the first half this year, but posted a respectable .314/.390/.531 after the All-Star break. His 44.2-percent hard-hit rate in the second half ranked fourth-highest among left-handed batters.

A two-time Gold Glove Award winner, Gonzalez was still a productive right fielder, though if he can regain his old form, his bat would be more coveted, which is why most of his potential suitors are American League clubs. He was worth one out above average, according to Statcast™, and converted on 21 of 52 catches ranked three-star or better.

And while it may not be the most coveted attribute among free agents, his leadership was widely respected in the Rockies clubhouse -- particularly among Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon, who credited Gonzalez in playing a significant role in their early-career development. Interested clubs seeking to take a flyer on a veteran outfielder may take that into consideration.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB, clubs spread holiday cheer to community

MLB.com @Marathoner

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Ron Darling grew up in Massachusetts as a weekend regular at a Boys & Girls Club, so it was like old times when he and fellow MLB Network analyst Dan Plesac finished taping their nightly "Hot Stove" show and walked out onto the Studio 42 field and greeted 25 kids from the Educational Alliance and Boys & Girls Club.

The kids were there for Major League Baseball's annual Winter Wishes event -- an example of how MLB and all 30 clubs are bringing holiday happiness to communities all over. The boys and girls were treated to dinner in the cafeteria, followed by a show from magician Randy Masters, then the visit by the former big league pitchers, then a Wiffle ball game on the field, and then the main event -- presents from Santa Claus. MLB employees provided the gifts.

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Ron Darling grew up in Massachusetts as a weekend regular at a Boys & Girls Club, so it was like old times when he and fellow MLB Network analyst Dan Plesac finished taping their nightly "Hot Stove" show and walked out onto the Studio 42 field and greeted 25 kids from the Educational Alliance and Boys & Girls Club.

The kids were there for Major League Baseball's annual Winter Wishes event -- an example of how MLB and all 30 clubs are bringing holiday happiness to communities all over. The boys and girls were treated to dinner in the cafeteria, followed by a show from magician Randy Masters, then the visit by the former big league pitchers, then a Wiffle ball game on the field, and then the main event -- presents from Santa Claus. MLB employees provided the gifts.

"These kids are in Lower Manhattan, and there are some tough areas there, and the Boys & Girls Club gives them kind of a refuge from some of that madness," Darling said. "I know when I was a kid, my parents worked on the weekends, so they used to drop my brother and I off at the Boys & Girls Club in Massachusetts. He and I had just a brilliant time there every weekend, and it was a lot of fun. These kids are having just as much fun."

• MLB in the community

Tom Brasuell, MLB's vice president of community affairs, welcomed the kids in the cafeteria after their late-afternoon arrival in the snow, noting that Educational Alliance has nine Boys & Girls Clubs in Lower Manhattan. Then Carlos Polanco, the 2017-18 Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Youth of the Year who attended the Boys & Girls Club in nearby Clifton, spoke to the kids, telling them he represented 4.3 million young people, including them. Mr. Met and elves helped Santa hand out gifts.

"They were elated, they were excited," Shawnia White, program coordinator of the Educational Alliance, said as the kids played ball behind her and program director Johnale Emery. "Many of them have never been to a baseball game, so they came here and their eyes lit up and they were smiling ear to ear."

Meanwhile, all clubs were piling on the festivities at this time of year. Here are some of the examples, and you can go to each official team site's homepage to see many others:

The Twins culminated their 12th annual Holiday Week of Giving on Friday morning as volunteers tutored Reading Partners students who need to make up a session that they missed during the week. Reading Partners works with the Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts to ensure more students are obtaining grade-level reading skills. The week also featured volunteer events with Sheridan Story Food Packing on Monday, American Cancer Society Hope Lodge on Tuesday, Sharing and Caring Hands on Wednesday, and a "Home for the Holidays" MAC-V event on Thursday -- connecting homeless veterans with service providers.

Video: Twins Holiday Week of Giving Day 4

On Friday afternoon, Yankee Stadium's Great Hall once again transformed into the North Pole when the club hosted its eighth annual Bronx Winter Wonderland. It treated several thousand local youth to a holiday extravaganza complete with holiday decorations, festive music, food and drink, and a gift for each child in attendance. The Yankees and Neil and Amanda Friedman -- who each made a contribution in the amount of $25,000 -- partnered with Toys "R" Us, American Foliage and Legends Hospitality to hold the event.

The Padres Holiday Caravan 12 Days of Giving concludes on Saturday, as the club hosts Rally Camps' youth softball clinic at Petco Park before participating in the San Diego Cares Blood Drive organized by the San Diego Blood Bank. Padres Kirby Yates and Alex Dickerson will be on hand to interact with about 75 camp participants from groups such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, RBI Softball, USO, Marine Corps Recruit Depot and McGrath Family YMCA.

Afterwards, the caravan heads to the San Diego Cares Blood Drive, sponsored by the Padres and hosted by the San Diego Blood Bank at the Town and Country Convention Center. Yates and Dickerson, along with Padres alumni Greg Vaughn, Wally Joyner, Steve Finley and Chris Gomez, will be on site at the blood drive. From 2-3 p.m. PT, Vaughn, Joyner, Finley and Gomez -- members of the Padres' 1998 National League championship team -- will participate in a Q&A with the donors, followed by an autograph session from 3-4 p.m. with the current and former Padres players in attendance.

The Rangers will host their annual Cowboy Santas Toy Drive Finale Event from 4-7 p.m. CT on Monday at Globe Life Park. This marks the seventh consecutive year in which the Rangers have been involved in the holiday initiative, which provides toys to children from low-income Tarrant County families during the holiday season. Honorary chair Delino DeShields will be joined by other Rangers personalities scheduled to include Elvis Andrus, Shin-Soo Choo, Nick Gardewine, Matt Bush, Joey Gallo, Robinson Chirinos and Steve Buechele.

Video: Rangers, MCA host local Fitness All-Stars Rally

The Rangers' ongoing offseason outreach also includes annual visits to CookChildren's Hospital in Fort Worth on Monday and Children's Health Medical Center in Dallas on Tuesday. In addition, former Rangers pitcher Darren Oliver and his wife, Melissa, on Thursday hosted 12 families who are part of Arlington Urban Ministries S.A.F.E. (Securing Arlington's Families on the Edge) Program at Globe Life Park. Families gathered in the Kid's Zone to enjoy photos with Santa and various activities. They also received a meal in the Rebecca Creek Saloon, provided by SportsService. The Olivers provided each family unit with a $200 Visa gift card, in addition to a $50 gift card for each child in the family.

The Phillies' commitment to giving back continues during their #SeasonOfGiving. Over a dozen separate events are planned, aimed at celebrating the holidays and giving thanks to the community. One of the many events includes the annual Bethesda Project Holiday Meal, which was on Dec. 8. An annual tradition for the Phillies family, this was the 17th year the club's front office prepared and served meals to the homeless at Bethesda Project's Our Brother's Place.

Video: Phillies Liberty USO Joy of Sharing Party

On Friday, the Phillie Phanatic and friends joined the Toyota Tundra Food Drive, donating food to benefit Philabundance. Monday is Toy Fest, supporting the Salvation Army, as well as the Phillies Charities, Inc. Holiday Party, which honors 2017 Phillies Charities, Inc. grant recipients. There are 28 grant recipients honored this year.

The Red Sox brought the warmth and cheer of the holiday season to patients at Boston-area hospitals and children at a baseball training academy with the 2017 Holiday Caravan on Thursday and Friday. Joining in were Red Sox players Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, Brian Johnson, Austin Maddox, Deven Marrero and Robby Scott, plus new manager Alex Cora. The Caravan stopped at Boston Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber's Jimmy Fund Clinic, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Shriners Hospital for Children and MassGeneral Hospital for Children, as well as a visit to The BASE, an academy that provides young baseball players with coaching and academic and life skills training.

In celebration of the holiday spirit, the Tigers treated nearly 50 children and teens in need from Black Family Development and the South Oakland Shelter to a special holiday dinner at Lakeside Grille at Macy's in Oakland Mall, followed by a surprise holiday shopping spree inside Oakland Mall on Monday. Each of the 50 participants received a loaded gift card with $125 to spend at the mall. Tigers broadcaster Dan Dickerson, along with FOX Sports Detroit broadcaster Rod Allen and the PAWS mascot, joined the families for an evening of holiday cheer. The night was made possible as a result of contributions from Allen, Tigers front-office staff, the Detroit Tigers Foundation and Delaware North Companies SportService.

The Orioles and OriolesREACH were host to 80 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students from John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School of Southeast Baltimore on Tuesday for the 39th annual OriolesREACH Holiday Party at Dave & Busters in the Arundel Mills Mall. O's players Tim Beckham, Trey Mancini and Mike Wright attended, along with Santa Bird and former Orioles Larry Bigbie, Al Bumbry and Scott McGregor. Players helped serve lunch, played games, signed autographs and took photos with children. The Orioles also donated and distributed holiday gifts, including knit hats, youth bat and ball sets, games, backpacks and books.

The Mets, in partnership with UnitedHealthcare, collected new and gently used coats on Wednesday for New York Cares to distribute to those in need. Fans donating one coat or more receive a voucher redeemable for two tickets to a select Mets home game in April and enjoy a day-of discount at the Mets Team Store. On Dec. 7, the Mets held their annual Kids' Holiday Party, where more than 100 elementary-school students from local schools played games, enjoyed lunch, performed holiday songs and received gifts. The club also conducted its Mets Holiday Shopping Spree sponsored by Delta Air Lines, benefiting 10 kids from underprivileged families.

Video: Conforto assists Mets Coat Drive

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina hosted a mega-event in his native Puerto Rico with the second Yadier Molina Home Run Derby & Celebrity Softball Game on Saturday. This fun-filled charity event benefiting Foundation 4, a nonprofit organization founded by Yadier and his wife, Wanda Torres, in 2010, helped raise hurricane relief aid for Puerto Rico.

The Astros hosted the second annual Home Plate for the Holidays free event at Minute Maid Park on Dec. 3. Fans had their first of many opportunities to have their photo taken with the 2017 World Series Trophy at this year's event. Proceeds benefited the Astros Foundation.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Follow him on Twitter @Marathoner.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Santana, Cozart deals make waves in market

Moustakas, Frazier, Hosmer, Martinez among those affected by signings
MLB.com @castrovince

Prior to Friday, the position player free-agent market had simply been stagnant. The only non-catcher position player to ink a Major League free-agent contract this Hot Stove season was Leonys Martin -- a solid player but hardly a market-shaper.

That all starts to change now that Carlos Santana and Zack Cozart have agreed to three-year deals with the Phillies and Angels, respectively. Their decisions are going to have ripple effects in a slow-moving market that is finally starting to gain traction.

Prior to Friday, the position player free-agent market had simply been stagnant. The only non-catcher position player to ink a Major League free-agent contract this Hot Stove season was Leonys Martin -- a solid player but hardly a market-shaper.

That all starts to change now that Carlos Santana and Zack Cozart have agreed to three-year deals with the Phillies and Angels, respectively. Their decisions are going to have ripple effects in a slow-moving market that is finally starting to gain traction.

Let's run through five groups potentially affected by these signings.

1. Mike Moustakas and Todd Frazier

It was already a shallow pool of clear contenders with a demand for third-base help, and then Cozart essentially expanded the supply side with his shift over from shortstop to sign with the Halos. There's no shame in Cozart deferring to Andrelton Simmons, but he took a job that might have otherwise belonged to Moustakas and Frazier, two power bats looking for a hot-corner hand to hold.

Video: Guardado on Angels signing Cozart, him playing third

With one fewer possibility in play, it would appear the best options still available to these two are the Giants and Cardinals. The Giants have a screaming need for power, and, unless you believe strongly in the bounce-back power of Pablo Sandoval, a clear hole at the position. The Cardinals have been preoccupied with a trade market featuring Manny Machado and Evan Longoria (they've inquired about Josh Donaldson, but the Blue Jays aren't making him available), but they could find themselves pivoting to Moose or the Toddfather. The Yankees have an opening at third base, but they might prefer a stopgap veteran as opposed to tying up the position with Machado's free agency just a year away. A wild card in all of this is the Orioles, who might have an opening to fill at third if they do deal Machado.

Long story short: The Angels shrunk the market for these guys.

2. Eric Hosmer and J.D. Martinez

The Santana signing seems to be a good thing for these guys. The Phillies were never viewed as a serious suitor for either Hosmer or Martinez, so Santana likely didn't shrink their market. Santana is four years older than Hosmer and doesn't have the game-changing power of Martinez, so he was projected to receive significantly less than either guy. If $20 million in average annual value does, indeed, turn out to be "significantly less" than what Hosmer and Martinez get, well, that's going to be a good thing for Hosmer and Martinez.

The real key here is that Santana did not go to the Boston Red Sox, who we all know are a likely landing spot for one of Martinez or Hosmer (if not both).

Video: Justice discusses where he thinks Hosmer will sign

3. The rest of the first-base market

The market includes Logan Morrison, Yonder Alonso, Lucas Duda, Matt Adams, Mitch Moreland, Mark Reynolds, Adam Lind, Mike Napoli and others. Not much has changed for these guys. We knew all along that Santana and Hosmer would be the ones commanding the major commitments this winter and that there is a serious supply and demand issue for all the rest.

Free agency is a game of musical chairs. There are potential opportunities in Boston (if the Red Sox don't sign Hosmer) and Cleveland and possibly in Texas, San Diego and Seattle. But really, there aren't a ton of chairs to go around here.

Video: Morrison on free agency, dream of playing for Royals

4. Rhys Hoskins and the Phillies' outfield

Hoskins' 18-homer breakout in a 50-game sample was a highlight -- the highlight of the Phillies' 2017 season. But it obviously didn't solidify his spot at first base, because now Santana (who, yes, has played third base in the big leagues, but not especially well) comes along and bumps him back to left field.

A few days ago, it appeared the Phils were set with an outfield of Aaron Altherr, Odubel Herrera and Nick Williams, but now the at-bats will have to be spread among four guys ... unless one of them becomes a trade chip. The Phillies have obviously ramped up their rebuild with the Santana acquisition, and their outfield surplus (as well as second baseman Cesar Hernandez) could be used to make a swap for starting pitching help.

Video: Todd Zolecki breaks down Hoskins' incredible callup

5. The American League West

It's not so much about the Cozart move, in isolation, but the entirety of the last week of transactions in the life of the Angels that makes the AL West a lot more interesting. Billy Eppler and Co. have done great work to reel in Shohei Ohtani, Ian Kinsler and Cozart to add to the allure of a club that was in the Wild Card hunt into September 2017 despite Mike Trout missing a month and a half.

Video: Angels' lineup gets new look with multiple additions

How much the Angels have closed the gap on the Astros remains to be seen (the Angels might still need to beef up their bullpen a bit). But they've likely put themselves second in the preseason pecking order, and it will be interesting to see if their moves inspire any added aggression from the Rangers (who added Matt Moore to their rotation Friday), Mariners and A's. As for the defending World Series champs, it can be hard to feel a true sense of urgency in their situation, but the Angels appear intent on keeping the Astros, who could still be a player for Wade Davis or an impact starting pitcher, honest.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier, Rhys Hoskins, Eric Hosmer, J.D. Martinez, Mike Moustakas, Carlos Santana

Sox focus on J.D., Hosmer as FA market moves

Santana's agreement with Phillies could intensify Boston's quest for impact bat
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- The Red Sox still haven't landed their coveted bat this offseason, but the free-agent market finally moved on Friday.

The Phillies and slugger Carlos Santana agreed to terms on a three-year, $60 million contract, sources told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. The deal hasn't been announced yet.

BOSTON -- The Red Sox still haven't landed their coveted bat this offseason, but the free-agent market finally moved on Friday.

The Phillies and slugger Carlos Santana agreed to terms on a three-year, $60 million contract, sources told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. The deal hasn't been announced yet.

Video: Justice on Santana signing with Phillies on High Heat

Once it is official, Santana will become the first accomplished run producer to sign this offseason, though a couple, such as Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, have moved in trades.

What does this mean for the Red Sox? Mainly, that their focus will intensify even a little more on J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer, the best bats available in free agency.

Hot Stove Tracker

In Boston's original blueprint, if Martinez was Plan A and Hosmer was Plan B, Santana was probably Plan C.

Santana's decision to go to the Phils brings to mind comments that Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski made a couple of days ago at the Winter Meetings when speaking on the dilemma of how long to wait on a certain target while risking that another could disappear.

"That's a great question, and I don't know the answer, frankly, because it's something that we talk about all the time," Dombrowski said. "And I think it's based upon feel and pulse and where you think the market is and when you need to make a decision, rather than when you might have to make a decision. And it does factor in. It does factor in, the waiting aspect of it."

Video: Dombrowski discusses pursuit of big bat

The Boston Herald reported Thursday that the Red Sox are trying to sign both Martinez and Hosmer. However, Dombrowski has stated numerous times this offseason -- including earlier this week -- that his plan is to acquire one bat because he only has one spot available in the lineup.

If Dombrowski did alter his previous stance and make a bold play for Martinez and Hosmer, the Red Sox would likely have to find a new home for designated hitter Hanley Ramirez, who is owed $22 million in 2018. Ramirez also has an option at that price for '19 that will vest if he gets 554 plate appearances in the coming season.

While Dombrowski keeps tabs on Martinez and Hosmer, he can do so while checking in with just one agent. Scott Boras represents both of those players.

The right-handed-hitting Martinez would give the Red Sox the pure slugger they've lacked since the retirement of David Ortiz. He smashed 45 homers in just 432 at-bats last season. Martinez would have to spend quite a bit of time at DH for a Boston team that has an outfield of Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts.

Video: ARI@LAD Gm1: Martinez smacks a solo homer down line

The left-handed-hitting Hosmer is more of a pure hitter, but he hit 25 homers in each of the past two seasons. He has an opposite-field stroke that could play well in Fenway, and he is considered to be one of the better clubhouse leaders in the game.

Video: MIN@KC: Hosmer jacks a solo shot to right field

Who are some other free-agent options if the Red Sox don't get Martinez or Hosmer?

Logan Morrison ripped a career-high 38 homers last season for the Rays. Yonder Alonso had 28 homers and an .866 OPS while splitting 2017 between the Athletics and the Mariners. Lucas Duda went deep 30 times for the Mets and Rays and had an .818 OPS.

Martinez and Hosmer are clearly a cut above the alternatives, so all signs continue to point to the Red Sox putting their efforts into the addition of at least one of them. Aside from keeping in contact with Boras, Boston will try to size up which teams it is in competition with for the hitters it covets most.

"Well, you do your best job to try to find that information out," Dombrowski said. "I think you make, hopefully, educated guesses on that. But I don't think you ever really know that totally, because it's just like their people don't share that information with you. But I think, again, you do your homework and try to have the best pulse as possible."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boston Red Sox

Ozuna: Playing for Cardinals 'a blessing'

Says outfielder: 'I'm going to give [Cardinals fans] a reason to smile'
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- They had laughed about the possibility before, with Yadier Molina and Carlos Martinez telling Marcell Ozuna that they were going to find a way to get him to St. Louis.

And sure enough, they did.

ST. LOUIS -- They had laughed about the possibility before, with Yadier Molina and Carlos Martinez telling Marcell Ozuna that they were going to find a way to get him to St. Louis.

And sure enough, they did.

On Thursday afternoon, Ozuna officially became teammates with Molina and Martinez, the latter of whom he has been close to for years. Just last month, Ozuna celebrated his 27th birthday in Martinez's home, neither knowing at the time that the Cardinals would soon execute a five-player trade to acquire one of 2017's most productive National League players.

Hot Stove Tracker

"That nervousness [about coming to St. Louis] went away when I started to reflect on those encounters and exchanges with Carlos and Yadi," Ozuna said, with Cardinals assistant general manager Moises Rodriguez providing the translation. "If I'm being traded to the Cardinals, at least I'm being traded to a group of guys that I know. That anxiety and that nervousness went away."

Video: Ozuna ready to bring his bat to the Cardinals' lineup

A formal introduction in St. Louis will come later, perhaps at the organization's annual Winter Warm-Up event in mid-January. For now, though, Ozuna relayed his message to an unfamiliar fan base during a 30-minute conference call with local reporters on Friday.

"The fans are really going to enjoy me," he said. "I'm going to give them a reason to smile."

Despite the flurry of rumors about a pending Marlins fire sale, Ozuna entered the offseason with the assumption that his future in Miami was secure. He had become immune to hearing and reading his name in various trade rumors, mostly because Ozuna had done so for years without anything actually transpiring.

With two years remaining before free agency and a projected salary of between $10-11 million for 2018, Ozuna figured he'd be spared as the organization went forward with its cost-cutting efforts. Only recently did he start to wonder if such security was fading.

"I never thought I would be traded," Ozuna said. "I thought maybe the higher-salary players would be the ones [to go] and I would be one of the ones kept. When the rumors and what was being published was becoming more frequent and on the news every night, I started to get a little nervous."

That nervousness has since faded to anticipation for Ozuna, who spoke excitedly about the opportunity to join a club that is a perennial postseason contender. In five seasons with the Marlins, Ozuna never played on a team that won even 80 games.

He'll take over in left field, a position at which Ozuna won his first Gold Glove in 2017, and will presumably hit fourth in the Cardinals' lineup. Last year he finished first among all four-hole hitters in the NL (minimum 400 at-bats) with a .548 slugging percentage and .924 OPS. His .372 on-base percentage and .306 average from that spot ranked second. His 88 RBIs placed him third.

Tweet from @Statcast™: Marcell Ozuna was a #Statcast™ standout in 2017.- 5 HRs of 450+ ft (T-4th in @MLB)- 13 HRs of 430+ ft (5th)- 7 HRs of 110+ mph (T-7th)- 214 hard-hit balls (6th)Now he takes that big bat to the @Cardinals. pic.twitter.com/Vji00wMJEL

The key, Ozuna said, in making the leap from being a talented player to a budding star came in the offseason work he did leading into the year. He's following the same blueprint -- one that former Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds helped craft -- this winter.

The only difference this time is that the results will play out in front of a new audience.

"It's almost like a blessing that I landed here," Ozuna said. "I've always known the Cardinals to be competitors, grinders. All the way to the end, they seem to be in the mix and in position to win. I'm very excited to be able to join that."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

St. Louis Cardinals, Marcell Ozuna