Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Source: Cards acquire Ozuna from Marlins

MLB.com

Marcell Ozuna has been traded to the Cardinals, a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez on Wednesday. The deal is pending a physical.

Neither club has confirmed the trade.

Marcell Ozuna has been traded to the Cardinals, a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez on Wednesday. The deal is pending a physical.

Neither club has confirmed the trade.

The clubs have been linked for a majority of the offseason as the Cardinals were one of the few teams to submit a final offer to the Marlins for slugger Giancarlo Stanton. After Stanton ultimately chose to accept a trade to the Yankees, the Cardinals turned their attention to Ozuna.

Video: Rosenthal discusses Ozuna's future on Hot Stove

The Marlins, who have already parted with Stanton and Dee Gordon this offseason, are doing what they can to lower their payroll.

MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported Monday evening that the Marlins are more inclined to move Ozuna over fellow outfielder Christian Yelich, telling clubs that Ozuna will cost less in a trade.

Hot Stove Tracker

Ozuna, 27, set career highs in batting average (.312), home runs (37), RBIs (124) and OPS (.924) in 2017, and he is under team control through 2020.

The Cardinals have been viewed as the frontrunners to land Ozuna, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, and a possible deal is expected to include two of the three of pitching prospects Jack Flaherty (St. Louis' No. 3 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com), Dakota Hudson (No. 8) and Sandy Alcantara (No. 9), in addition to a replacement in the outfield in either Stephen Piscotty or Randal Grichuk.

Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @basebollie.

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

St. Louis Cardinals, Marcell Ozuna

Nats, Boras met to discuss Bryce's future

Preliminary discussions on possible extension began in November
MLB.com @JamalCollier

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Nationals had preliminary discussions about Bryce Harper's future during a meeting last month between his agent, Scott Boras, and team ownership.

Boras did not say whether he believed a potential extension could be reached this offseason before Harper enters the final season of his contract, where his free agency could loom over the Nationals' 2018 season.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Nationals had preliminary discussions about Bryce Harper's future during a meeting last month between his agent, Scott Boras, and team ownership.

Boras did not say whether he believed a potential extension could be reached this offseason before Harper enters the final season of his contract, where his free agency could loom over the Nationals' 2018 season.

"That's up to ownership," Boras said Wednesday during his annual media session during the Winter Meetings. "We'll have to look at it and report back to Bryce."

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said last month on MLB Network that he believed the team has "as good a chance as anybody" to sign Harper long-term. However, Rizzo did not want to get talk specifics about any negotiations with Harper this offseason.

"We're not going to discuss what we're going to do with Harp, other than that we love having him in the organization," Rizzo said Tuesday. "We're a team that drafted him, developed him and he's performed greatly for us, but we're going to keep all those discussions internal."

Because of his Harper's youth -- he's entering his age-25 season -- and string of accomplishments, including the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 2015, he would enter next offseason as one of the most coveted free agents of recent memory.

It's been speculated that Harper would command a very large contract on the open market, perhaps setting a record in the process. He does have at least one more season left with Washington, which gives the Nats the opportunity to hold exclusive negotiating rights with him -- time they can use to make the pitch for him to remain in D.C.

Harper will earn $21.625 million in 2018.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

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

Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper

Wednesday at Winter Meetings: In Real Life

MLB.com

MLB.com is on the scene in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for Day 3 of baseball's annual Winter Meetings. Catch up on all of the action right here.

12:41 p.m. ET: AL in the family
As part of the annual managers luncheon at the Winter Meetings, all of the American League managers posed for a photo.

MLB.com is on the scene in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for Day 3 of baseball's annual Winter Meetings. Catch up on all of the action right here.

12:41 p.m. ET: AL in the family
As part of the annual managers luncheon at the Winter Meetings, all of the American League managers posed for a photo.

Tweet from @morsecode: American League skippers pic.twitter.com/v94cCMqxoE

11:30 a.m. ET: Skippers mix it up
A trio of MLB managers joined MLB Network's "Hot Stove" to look back on the 2017 season and talk about the intrigue of the Winter Meetings.

Video: Hot Stove talks Tigers with Ron Gardenhire

Video: Hot Stove talks D-backs with manager Torey Lovullo

Video: Showalter discusses new postseason bullpen strategies

10:29 a.m. ET: Paul together now
Looking natty in a sharp jacket, Twins manager Paul Molitor talks to the media about his plans for the bullpen. Minnesota also made news this morning by signing former Yankees righty Michael Pineda to a two-year deal, though he will likely miss most of 2018 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

10:15 a.m. ET: Hype cast
MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince and Richard Justice recap Day 2 of the Winter Meetings -- including J.D. Martinez's arrival to meet with clubs -- in today's edition of the Morning Lineup podcast. More >

10:06 a.m. ET: Twinsies
Compliments are exchanged during a spontaneous meeting of past and current Twins managers in the Winter Meetings media room.

Tweet from @beckjason: Former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and current Twins manager Paul Molitor cross paths in media room. ���Look at you,��� Gardenhire said. ���You look like you should be on TV.��� pic.twitter.com/Gq35tvI1o3

Tweet from @RhettBollinger: Ron Gardenhire told Paul Molitor he looks good enough he could be on TV with that jacket pic.twitter.com/zC0Ii50pMt

9:35 a.m. ET: Let's get it, Ron
New Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire opens Day 3 of the Winter Meetings by sitting down with the media, roster breakdown by his side.

Tweet from @beckjason: ���Good morning,��� Ron Gardenhire greeted reporters as he sat down for his media session at Winter Meetings. ���Let me get out my roster so I know who we have.���

Video: Gardenhire needs a roster to know his new team

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

Enjoy, bid on MLB experiences for great cause

Proceeds from Winter Meetings auction to benefit Katharine Feeney Memorial Fund
MLB.com

For the sixth consecutive year, Major League Baseball, MLB Advanced Media, MLB Network and all 30 clubs have organized a charity auction during the Winter Meetings to benefit a special cause close to the game. This year, the auction will support the Katharine Feeney Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is in memory of the late pioneering baseball executive whose career spanned 40 years.

This year's auction, which is now live at MLB.com/wintermeetingsauction until Thursday at 10 p.m. ET, once again includes once-in-a-lifetime baseball experiences and unique items to raise funds and awareness for this special cause.

For the sixth consecutive year, Major League Baseball, MLB Advanced Media, MLB Network and all 30 clubs have organized a charity auction during the Winter Meetings to benefit a special cause close to the game. This year, the auction will support the Katharine Feeney Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is in memory of the late pioneering baseball executive whose career spanned 40 years.

This year's auction, which is now live at MLB.com/wintermeetingsauction until Thursday at 10 p.m. ET, once again includes once-in-a-lifetime baseball experiences and unique items to raise funds and awareness for this special cause.

Feeney was the senior vice president of scheduling and club relations for MLB until she passed away in April, several months into her retirement.

Video: Winter Meetings Auction to benefit Feeney Scholarship

The Winter Meetings charity auction has raised more than $900,000 since its inception. MLB also honored Feeney's legacy by hosting the "Katy Feeney Leadership Symposium" during the Winter Meetings. The career-minded event focused on leadership education and the advancement of female executives from throughout the game.

Angels
The Angels are offering three special baseball experiences to supporters: a meet and greet with superstar center fielder Mike Trout and manager Mike Scioscia; a Spring Training experience; and the opportunity to throw a ceremonial first pitch at Angel Stadium. More >

Astros
Astros are offering a meet and greet with All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa. The winner will receive four field box tickets and the opportunity to watch batting practice from the field, where they will meet Correa. More >

Athletics
The A's are offering three unique experiences as part of the charity auction: "A's Intern for a Day," "Spend an Inning in the Broadcast Booth" and "Alumni Meet and Greet during Reunion Weekend." More >

Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are auctioning off a unique game experience. Toronto is offering a four-ticket package, which also includes passes to watch batting practice and customized jerseys. More >

Braves
An opportunity to have lunch with general manager Alex Anthopoulos or receive a one-on-one catching tutorial with Kurt Suzuki stand as two of the packages the Braves are offering. More >

Brewers
Meet the closer or meet the media? The Brewers are offering fans an opportunity to do both. "Hang with the closer" is a meet and greet with All-Star reliever Corey Knebel, who will escort the winning bidder and a guest to the bullpen at Miller Park, warm them up and trot to the mound with music blaring, just like the ninth inning. If closers aren't your thing, how about a .200-hitting former catcher? An audience with the team's broadcasters and an autographed ball from Bob Uecker awaits this winner, who will sit in on manager Craig Counsell's pre- and postgame media sessions and watch the game from the press box. More >

Cardinals
The Cardinals will auction off an "Ultimate Cardinals Fan Pack," which will include a weekender bag stuffed with every promotional item given away at Busch Stadium in 2017. Separately, fans can also bid on a complete collection of 2018 Cardinals hats. More >

Cubs
Want to chat with Cubs television broadcasters Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies? Or would you prefer to play catch at Wrigley Field? Maybe you'd like to spend a day at the Friendly Confines? You can bid on those items, which are part of a special Winter Meetings charity auction. More >

Video: Rawitch discusses impact of Feeney, auction

D-backs
The D-backs items allow fans to bid on unique experiences like having lunch and taking a tour with 2001 Game 7 World Series hero Luis Gonzalez. You can also go through a big league photo day and have lunch with Archie Bradley or sit with legendary baseball executive Roland Hemond and learn about scouting while he tells you stories from his six decades in the game. More >

Dodgers
Lunch with outfielder Yasiel Puig is one of three rare experiences available to fans through the charity auction. Also up for bids are a Spring Training batboy/batgirl experience and a chance to announce "It's Time for Dodger Baseball" before a game. More >

Giants
The past and the present -- whether it's a chance to see today's players up close or an autograph from a legend -- are featured among the Giants-related items being offered. More >

Video: Women in MLB take part in Feeney Leadership Symposium

Indians
The Indians are offering three experiences as part of the charity auction at the Winter Meetings. One winner will have the chance to watch a Cavaliers game (April 1) from Tribe manager Terry Francona's personal season-ticket seats. The Indians are also offering the chance to "Take BP on the Field" and be an "Indians Executive for a Day." More >

Mariners
The Mariners are offering a chance to meet manager Scott Servais and watch batting practice on the field before a game, the opportunity to spend an inning in the Safeco Field broadcast booth and the unique chance to work on the Mariners' grounds crew before and during a game in the upcoming season. More >

Marlins
Marlins fans have an opportunity to get close to the action through the auction. Fans can bid on two events -- a meet and greet with manager Don Mattingly or they can bid on a package to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Marlins Park. More >

Mets
Mets fans saw firsthand last year how impactful MLB's annual Winter Meetings auction can be, when proceeds went toward renovating a softball complex in the name of late Mets staffer Shannon Forde. This year's auction includes dinner with broadcasters Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling; a complete Citi Field game day experience; and a tour of the Mets Hall of Fame with John Franco and Mookie Wilson. More >

Video: Shannon Dalton Forde Field dedication on Play Ball

Nationals
The Nationals will offer up three items during this year's auction, including the chance to be a media member for a day; a mascot appearance by Screech and Teddy; and a grounds-crew experience. More >

Orioles
Fans can win a chance to play chess against Orioles players, paint with catcher Caleb Joseph and watch batting practice as part of an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. More >

Padres
Three once-in-a-lifetime Padres experiences are up for grabs this week. Want to meet Wil Myers and Austin Hedges, dine with Trevor Hoffman or learn to hit from Mark McGwire? All three opportunities are available. Padres items for bid include: a meet and greet with Myers and Hedges, a one-on-one hitting lesson with the Padres' bench coach and a dinner with legendary closer Hoffman. The bidding for all three opens at $1,000. More >

Phillies
A Phillies fan has the unique opportunity to work out with new manager Gabe Kapler and have him develop a nutrition plan for the winner. Another has a chance to play golf with Phillies broadcaster John Kruk. More >

Pirates
Want to chat with Pirates manager Clint Hurdle? Ever dreamed of throwing out the first pitch at beautiful PNC Park or taking in a game from the suite level? The Pirates are offering three experiences in this year's auction. More >

Rangers
Win a "Broadcaster's Dream" package with some of the best voices in the business, or maybe receive some tips from Rangers hitting coach Anthony lapoce and pitching coach Doug Brocail. More >

Rays
Unique items are available for Rays fans via the annual auction, including playing catch with Steven Souza Jr., being an intern for a day and shadowing the team's photographer for a Rays home game. More >

Red Sox
The Red Sox are providing the chance to a fan to have a meet and greet with the team's starting outfield of Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts prior to a 2018 home game. The package includes four grandstand tickets to that day's game. Another items offers a high school student between the ages of 14 to 18 to shadow the team's media relations department on game day. That fan will also get four box seats to the game that day. And the final item is a chance to throw out the first pitch before a game at Fenway Park. Included are four Green Monster seats. More >

Reds
For their part, the Reds are offering fans a shot to enjoy a meet and greet with Joey Votto. An All-Star first baseman, Votto was second in this year's election for the National League Most Valuable Player Award. More >

Rockies
Rockies fans have the opportunity to bid on two unique experiences -- one during Spring Training at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz., the other a VIP treatment during the regular season at Coors Field. More >

Royals
The Royals are offering up three items to bid on: a Spring Training meet and greet and VIP experience; social media assistant for a day; and photographer for a day. More >

Tigers
The Tigers are auctioning a chance to eat lunch with catcher James McCann and an opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 World Series champions as part of MLB.com's charity auction to support the Katharine Feeney Memorial Scholarship Fund. More >

Twins
The Twins are auctioning off three unique experiences: take infield drills with All-Star second baseman Brian Dozier, receive a private 30-minute hitting lesson from hitting coach James Rowson and be team photographer for the day with an all-access pass. More >

White Sox
The White Sox are offering three experiences as part of their charity auction contribution. Fans can bid on a private hitting lesson with Harold Baines, a Spring Training experience and an in-season White Sox VIP package. More >

Yankees
The Yankees have donated a meet-and-greet with Aaron Judge that includes four tickets to the Judge's Chambers at Yankee Stadium, a private tour of the Yankees Museum at Yankee Stadium that includes opportunities to meet Yankees players, and a Spring Training VIP package that includes a tour, meet-and-greets and photographs on the mound at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. More >

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

D-backs hear from Yanks on Drury, Corbin

Teams have also contacted Arizona about ace Greinke
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The rumor mill surrounding the D-backs at the Winter Meetings appears to be heating up.

In addition to talking to the Yankees about lefty Patrick Corbin, MLB.com can confirm a New York Post report that the two teams have also discussed infielder Brandon Drury.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The rumor mill surrounding the D-backs at the Winter Meetings appears to be heating up.

In addition to talking to the Yankees about lefty Patrick Corbin, MLB.com can confirm a New York Post report that the two teams have also discussed infielder Brandon Drury.

According to a source, the D-backs have also been engaged by more than just the Rangers about ace pitcher Zack Greinke, though it doesn't seem like those discussions have had a lot of traction.

Moving Greinke and the $138.5 million that he's still owed through 2021 would free up payroll to make other moves, but the D-backs are not looking to simply dump salary, and they are hesitant to part with their ace as they plan on contending in '18.

Hot Stove Tracker

The prospect of moving Greinke is even less attractive if they have to eat some of the contract or take on another large contract in return. Moving Corbin and or Drury would seem like a much easier proposition.

Corbin is in his final year of salary arbitration, and he will likely make around $8 million in 2018 before hitting free agency. If the D-backs could save that money by trading him, they could free up some funds to fill other needs in the bullpen, behind the plate or in the outfield.

D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said Tuesday that while he was possibly open to trading one of his starters, he would want to know that he had a clear path toward acquiring a replacement.

Dealing Drury would make sense, given the D-backs' surplus of middle infielders, which includes Ketel Marte, Chris Owings, Nick Ahmed and Daniel Descalso.

Given Drury's age (25) and the fact that he is not yet eligible for arbitration, he is an attractive player to a number of teams, and the D-backs have fielded numerous inquiries about him.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

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

Arizona Diamondbacks, Patrick Corbin, Brandon Drury

J.D. arrives at Winter Meetings to meet with clubs

Prized slugger traveling to Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
MLB.com @mattkellyMLB

One of the best hitters on this year's free-agent market is on his way to the Winter Meetings to advocate for himself.

A source confirmed to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that slugger J.D. Martinez traveled to the 2017 Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Tuesday evening alongside agent Scott Boras to meet with individual clubs. That list of teams reportedly includes the Red Sox, who have been linked to Martinez frequently since the offseason began. Boston's interest in Martinez is thought to be high in the wake of the rival Yankees' acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton, and it is widely expected that the Red Sox will make a big move in response.

One of the best hitters on this year's free-agent market is on his way to the Winter Meetings to advocate for himself.

A source confirmed to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that slugger J.D. Martinez traveled to the 2017 Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Tuesday evening alongside agent Scott Boras to meet with individual clubs. That list of teams reportedly includes the Red Sox, who have been linked to Martinez frequently since the offseason began. Boston's interest in Martinez is thought to be high in the wake of the rival Yankees' acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton, and it is widely expected that the Red Sox will make a big move in response.

The Cardinals and Giants, who were the most aggressive teams in courting Stanton before he ultimately rejected trades to both destinations, also figure to be among the most likely teams to meet with Martinez besides the Red Sox. Both teams are looking to acquire impact bats and have the available finances.

Hot Stove Tracker

Martinez, 30, figures to command one of the larger free-agent contracts this offseason, but he also comes without the baggage of a qualifying offer. Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, players who turn down one-year qualifying offers from their clubs have compensation attached to them in the form of either a first- or second-round Draft pick (depending on the original club's status in regards to revenue sharing) as well as international bonus pool money. Martinez doesn't carry any of those considerations since he was traded by the Tigers to the D-backs in the middle of the 2017 season.

Video: Will the Red Sox be active at the Winter Meetings?

Though there are concerns about how Martinez's outfield defense will sustain as he ages, he brings a wealth of hitting acumen to the table, and he figures to display his passion for hitting in any face-to-face meeting with potential suitors. Only three players -- Stanton, Mike Trout and Joey Votto -- have posted a higher OPS+ over the past four seasons than Martinez (minimum 1,500 plate appearances). According to Statcast™, only Aaron Judge averaged more barrels (or balls hit with optimal combinations of exit velocity and launch angle, typically leading to extra-base hits) per plate appearance than Martinez among qualified players in 2017. Martinez's 19 home runs to the opposite field were also the most, per Statcast™, of any player -- left- or right-handed.

Martinez hit 29 home runs for the D-backs alone after he was traded on July 18, setting a record for the most hit by any player who debuted with a new team on or after July 1. Alongside Eric Hosmer, Martinez is seen as the top power hitter still on the board this offseason.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

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

J.D. Martinez

Angels satisfied with Ohtani's medical report

Eppler says October PRP injection was 'preventative' procedure
MLB.com @mi_guardado

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Angels general manager Billy Eppler confirmed on Tuesday that Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow in October, which Eppler described as a "preventative" measure taken by Ohtani's former Japanese club, the Nippon-Ham Fighters.

Eppler said Ohtani's procedure was mentioned in the medical report distributed by Major League Baseball and was not triggered by any kind of elbow discomfort, though Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported afterward that Ohtani has a "first-degree sprain" in his right ulnar collateral ligament, which is the least severe of UCL injuries, but could eventually lead to Tommy John surgery. A physical obtained by Yahoo Sports said Ohtani, who also has a "small free body" floating near his UCL, should still be able to participate in baseball activities with proper elbow care.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Angels general manager Billy Eppler confirmed on Tuesday that Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow in October, which Eppler described as a "preventative" measure taken by Ohtani's former Japanese club, the Nippon-Ham Fighters.

Eppler said Ohtani's procedure was mentioned in the medical report distributed by Major League Baseball and was not triggered by any kind of elbow discomfort, though Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported afterward that Ohtani has a "first-degree sprain" in his right ulnar collateral ligament, which is the least severe of UCL injuries, but could eventually lead to Tommy John surgery. A physical obtained by Yahoo Sports said Ohtani, who also has a "small free body" floating near his UCL, should still be able to participate in baseball activities with proper elbow care.

Buy Ohtani gear

:: Shohei Ohtani coverage ::

"He underwent a thorough physical with MRI scans to both his elbow and shoulder," Eppler told MLB.com. "Scans that we conduct whenever we sign a pitcher. Based on the readings of the MRIs, there are no signs of acute or new trauma in the elbow. His elbow looked consistent with pitchers at his age and usage level. We were pleased with the results of the physical and we are happy to have the player."

Ohtani also underwent a physical examination at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles on Thursday before agreeing to sign with the Angels.

Some Major League pitchers have been able to pitch through partial UCL tears without requiring elbow surgery, including Ohtani's countryman, Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, and new Angels teammate Garrett Richards, who received a stem-cell injection to help regenerate his damaged elbow ligament last year.

The Halos clearly still felt comfortable going after Ohtani, who received a $2.315 million signing bonus after agreeing to a Minor League contract over the weekend. The club will also pay a $20 million posting fee to the Fighters, but the overall cost is still minimal for a player of Ohtani's caliber.

Hot Stove Tracker

Given Ohtani's potential to impact the rotation and lineup next season, the Angels are discussing other preventative steps to ease the 23-year-old's transition to the 162-game schedule in the Majors. (In Japan, clubs play 146 games and typically have Mondays off.)

Video: Eppler joins MLB Tonight to discuss Ohtani signing

Eppler said Ohtani will not hit on days he pitches, unless the team is playing in a National League park. The Halos are also seriously considering adopting a six-man rotation next season, a concept that intrigued Eppler even before the Ohtani signing.

"We've given a ton of thought to it," Eppler said. "A lot."

The Angels' current stable of starters with options, the four additional off-days granted by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and a desire to mirror Ohtani's once-a-week pitching schedule in Japan are a few reasons why Eppler believes a six-man rotation would be more feasible in 2018.

An expanded rotation would also be a logical way to manage Ohtani's workload in his first full season in the Majors. Ohtani has never pitched more than 160 2/3 innings in a single season, and Eppler said the Halos do not foresee him making 33 starts, the number accrued by most pitchers in a five-man rotation in a year.

Video: Fantasy 411 predicts Ohtani's innings with Angels

Still, the rest of the Angels' starters might not be as enthused about the possibility of a six-man rotation, which would disrupt their routines between starts and could also carry financial implications for players due to the overall reduction in innings. Richards will be entering his final season before free agency, while Matt Shoemaker, Tyler Skaggs, Andrew Heaney and JC Ramirez are eligible for arbitration, a process that considers figures like innings pitched when determining raises in salary.

Asked how he would respond to possible resistance from other starters, Eppler said he would have conversations with players and point to medical research touting the potential health benefits of a six-man rotation. That could prove to be a key selling point, as the Halos' rotation has been hampered by injuries over the past two seasons, with Richards, Heaney, Skaggs, Shoemaker, Ramirez and Nick Tropeano all spending significant time on the disabled list in 2017.

Video: On High Heat, Mike Scioscia discusses the Angels

"I can tell you medically that I've had reputable doctors and biomechanists say that a six-man would be advantageous," Eppler said. "And when we're rehabilitating players, they bring up a six-man [rotation] and the merits behind that.

"If you wanted to have a 10-, 12-, 15-year career, what would you want your employer to be mindful of? Your health," he continued. "We're tasked with doing what we feel is best for the long-term health of our players. That's an important thing to me. You're striking the core of my DNA. I'm not putting players at risk. And if there's a methodology that can help players out, we're going to present it to them, because I feel I have a moral responsibility to that."

If the Angels choose not to adopt a six-man rotation, Eppler said Ohtani's innings could also be kept in check by occasionally skipping his turns in a five-man rotation. A blend between the two configurations is also a possibility.

Eppler said he intends to consult his coaching, front office and performance staffs before making a decision, which he expects to come before Spring Training.

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

Source: Mets agree with reliever Swarzak

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Bent on improving and emphasizing the back end of their bullpen, the Mets on Wednesday struck their first deal of the Winter Meetings, reaching agreement with free-agent reliever Anthony Swarzak on a two-year deal worth $14 million, according to a source.

The Mets have not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Bent on improving and emphasizing the back end of their bullpen, the Mets on Wednesday struck their first deal of the Winter Meetings, reaching agreement with free-agent reliever Anthony Swarzak on a two-year deal worth $14 million, according to a source.

The Mets have not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical.

Hot Stove Tracker

Swarzak, 32, is coming off the best season of his eight-year career, posting a 2.33 ERA in 77 1/3 innings split between the White Sox and Brewers. He also averaged a career high with 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings, fifth in the Majors among relievers with at least 70 innings. The right-hander exclusively threw a fastball and slider, averaging 95 mph with the former pitch.

In New York, Swarzak will team with Jeurys Familia, AJ Ramos and Jerry Blevins at the back of the bullpen. Manager Mickey Callaway said Tuesday that Familia will not necessarily regain his ninth-inning duties, as the Mets look to modernize bullpen roles. All four of those pitchers could pick up closing duties at times.

The Mets made acquiring a relief pitcher their top priority this offseason, checking in on Bryan Shaw, Tommy Hunter and others who have since signed elsewhere. The team is also looking to add a second baseman and a first base/outfield hybrid.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

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

New York Mets, Anthony Swarzak

'National treasure' Costas wins '18 Frick Award

MLB.com @basebollie

Renowned sports broadcaster Bob Costas was named the 2018 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced Wednesday morning. The award is given annually to a candidate who displays "excellence in broadcasting."

Costas, the 42nd winner of the award, received the highest point total in a vote conducted by the Hall of Fame's 15-member selection committee. He will be recognized for his achievements during the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation on July 28 as part of Hall of Fame Weekend 2018.

Renowned sports broadcaster Bob Costas was named the 2018 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced Wednesday morning. The award is given annually to a candidate who displays "excellence in broadcasting."

Costas, the 42nd winner of the award, received the highest point total in a vote conducted by the Hall of Fame's 15-member selection committee. He will be recognized for his achievements during the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation on July 28 as part of Hall of Fame Weekend 2018.

"I love baseball. As most of you know, it's always been my favorite sport to broadcast, and I think that I'm something of an historian on the history of the craft," Costas said. "As a little kid, when I was 9 or 10 years old, I would fiddle with a radio dial and try to pick up Ernie Harwell from WJR in Detroit, or Bob Prince on KDKA in Pittsburgh or Chuck Thompson on WBAL in Baltimore, or Harry Caray and Jack Buck on a very clear night all the way from Long Island, beaming in from St. Louis on KMOX.

"And in the early '60s, we lived for a short while in Los Angeles, and I listened then to Vin Scully on a transistor radio like millions of others."

Costas was selected over finalists Buddy Blattner, Joe Buck, Dizzy Dean, Don Drysdale, Al Michaels, Joe Morgan and Pee Wee Reese.

"For almost 40 years, Bob Costas has presented an incredibly thoughtful and informed voice on every game he calls for NBC, The Baseball Network and MLB Network," president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Jeff Idelson said. "But it's Bob's pure affection for baseball that has made him a national treasure. From the first day he entered our living rooms, Bob became one of the national pastime's greatest friends."

A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, Costas began his broadcasting career as the play-by-play caller for the St. Louis Spirits of the American Basketball Association. He called regional National Basketball Association and National Football League games for CBS in the late 1970s before moving to NBC in 1980.

Costas was paired up with Sal Bando to form the backup broadcast team for NBC's MLB Game of the Week in 1982, and he served that same role alongside fellow Ford Frick Award winner Tony Kubek from 1983-89.

"But I would think that the 15 people who voted, all of whom know the history of baseball broadcasting, I would think that the work that I did on a baseball game of the week on NBC in the '80s and then in the '90s with Bob Uecker and Joe Morgan on NBC, that it was that history as much as anything else that led to me being lucky enough to being selected," Costas said.

Costas has handled play-by-play duties for the American League Championship Series in 1983, '85, '87 and '89 in addition to doing pregame duties for the All-Star Game during those seasons. He also helped perform pregame assignments for the World Series in 1982, '84, '86 and '88.

Costa is a 28-time Emmy Award winner, and he joined MLB Network in 2009. He has served as the network's documentary host for the past nine years.

Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @basebollie.

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

Moving Manny? Orioles listening to offers

Machado to be free agent after coming season, expresses desire to play SS
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Can they? Should they? Will they?

The questions swirled as the Orioles indicated they were shopping star third baseman Manny Machado on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette confirmed that he is listening to offers -- with multiple organizations requesting to meet with the club about Machado.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Can they? Should they? Will they?

The questions swirled as the Orioles indicated they were shopping star third baseman Manny Machado on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette confirmed that he is listening to offers -- with multiple organizations requesting to meet with the club about Machado.

Whether the O's actually deal away one of the organization's most popular players since his arrival in 2012 is another matter entirely.

"Manny's an Oriole. I don't think you have to speculate [what the fan base would think of a potential trade]," Duquette said. "There's a lot of interest in Manny, and a couple of clubs requested a meeting, so we met with a couple of clubs specifically on that issue."

Video: Manny Machado may be on the move this offseason

No, Duquette doesn't want to deal the All-Star and Gold Glover. But Tuesday was the most willing he's been to listen to offers for Machado, who will be a free agent nex offseason. The Orioles have not had active extension talks with Machado in years, making that a remote possibility, though Duquette said it is not completely out of the O's realm.

"That's obviously a big decision for the Orioles' organization," Duquette said, "and that's one that is still under consideration."

Hot Stove Tracker

As the Orioles look to acquire two starting pitchers, shopping Machado is an uncharacteristic move for an organization that has historically avoided big fire sales or trading away stars under owner Peter Angelos, with the goal being to field the most competitive team year in and year out. Duquette reiterated that being competitive is his goal for the 2018 O's, even as the organization faces a potential crossroads with final contract years for Machado, Adam Jones, Zach Britton, Duquette and manager Buck Showalter.

Video: Duquette on Britton's future with the Orioles

The Orioles had "four or five" active trade discussions on Tuesday, Duquette said, with their bullpen another target for improvement. Beyond the Machado buzz, Britton, Brad Brach and Mychal Givens are all names that have been exchanged in potential trade talks.

The Orioles are looking for two young, controllable arms in addition to a left-handed hitter and a veteran catcher. While trading Machado may help them fill some of their holes, other teams may be reluctant to part with top prospects for a player who will hit free agency next offseason. Duquette said no club the O's have talked to asked about a potential 72-hour window to negotiate an extension for Machado.

If the Orioles do indeed keep the All-Star, they still may have an opening at third base. Machado wants to move back to shortstop -- the position at which he was drafted -- though no final decision has been made.

Video: Showalter on Machado's desire to play shortstop

"I've got a real gut feeling about how it's going to work out, but I want to make sure we cover all the bases before whatever direction we go in," Showalter said of the potential of Machado playing shortstop and replacing Tim Beckham. "It's good to have the strength there for those two guys, guys that are going to play shortstop, and it's a good problem to have."

Machado wanting to move back to short wasn't news to Showalter.

Winter Meetings interview with Buck Showalter

"He always has [wanted to play there] since the day he signed," Showalter said. "I think out of his respect for J.J. Hardy -- and one of the reasons why we brought Jonathan [Schoop] and him up early is because of the chance to play alongside J.J. and really jump-start their development in a lot of areas. Manny has not only respect for J.J. but also for Tim Beckham and other people.

"To say that Manny and I haven't had conversations about [moving back to shortstop] over the years, I wouldn't be truthful."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

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

Baltimore Orioles, Manny Machado

MLB Buzz: Rox looking to re-sign Reynolds

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

Rockies, Royals contenders for Reynolds
The Rockies are believed to be a "strong contender" to reunite with first baseman Mark Reynolds, according to SB Nation's Chris Cotillo.

Cotillo also said that the Royals are eyeing Reynolds as a "fallback plan" if they are unable to bring back free agent Eric Hosmer. The MLB Daily Dish noted those are not the only teams considering the 34-year-old.

Reynolds has played the past two seasons for Colorado, batting a combined .274/.354/.471 with 44 home runs and 150 RBIs in 266 games.

The 11-year veteran has never been a batter who hits for a high average, but he provides plenty of pop, especially at Coors Field. He crushed 30 homers this year.

Reynolds has 281 home runs in 1,524 career games.

Boras says he's discussed Harper extension
One year out from what could be one of the biggest free-agent sweepstakes in the game's history, the Nationals have had preliminary discussions regarding a contract extension with superstar Bryce Harper, his agent, Scott Boras, said at the Winter Meetings on Wednesday.

Boras said the discussions took place roughly a month ago, and he didn't indicate if the two parties had definitive plans to continue discussions at any point in the immediate future.

Because of his age -- he's entering his age-25 season -- and string of accomplishments, including the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 2015, Harper would enter next offseason as one of the most coveted free agents of recent memory if unsigned. It's been speculated that he would command a very large contract on the open market, perhaps setting a record in the process.

Video: Collier: Harper could re-sign with Nats

However, Nats general manager Mike Rizzo has been confident in the club's pursuit, despite the expected lofty price tag.

"I think we have as good a chance to sign him long-term as anybody in baseball," Rizzo said last month. "He's the type of iconic, historic type of player that would love to be with the same organization throughout his whole career, such as [Derek] Jeter and that group of guys. I think he wants to be here. We want him here. I think there's an opportunity for him to make history here."

Harper will earn $21.625 million in 2018, which he and the Nats agreed to in May. The agreement was viewed in part as a sign of goodwill as well as intent on making an aggressive pursuit of an extension this offseason.

Red Sox looking at Todd Frazier
The Red Sox are "considering" Todd Frazier, who reportedly is open to playing first base as well as third base, according to the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman.

Silverman reported that Frazier is not one of Boston's primary focuses, but he was one of the club's targets in July before the Yankees acquired him from the White Sox.

It's possible Frazier would be a backup plan in case the Red Sox are unable to land a slugger like J.D. Martinez, who the club is known to have interest in. Frazier is also known to be of interest to the division-rival Yankees after he clubbed 11 homers and drove in 32 runs in 66 games for them following the midseason trade.

Frazier, 31, is a career .245/.321/.459 hitter with 175 homers and 498 RBIs over seven Major League seasons.

Astros discussing re-signing Liriano
The Astros have had internal discussions about bringing back left-hander Francisco Liriano, sources told Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle.

Liriano, 34, was acquired by the Astros on July 31 for prospect Teoscar Hernandez and went 0-2 with a 4.40 ERA in 14 1/3 innings down the stretch. He allowed one earned run in 2 1/3 innings in the postseason.

The Astros would likely be looking to reunite with Liriano as a reliever, and the southpaw could come at a relatively reasonable price tag. He has held left-handed hitters to a .222/.297/.306 batting line throughout his 12-year career in the Majors.

Cubs, Indians have talk about Salazar
The Cubs, who have already signed starter Tyler Chatwood and reliever Brandon Morrow, are still looking for upgrades to their pitching staff. The club has had "trade talk" with the Indians about a potential trade for right-hander Danny Salazar, according to CBS Sports Chicago's Bruce Levine.

Levine reported that the Indians seek a left-handed hitter in return, but also said that a deal is not "close at this time."

Salazar battled elbow and shoulder injuries in 2017 and finished the season with a 4.28 ERA in 19 starts and four relief appearances. The 27-year-old still provides plenty of upside as a strikeout-inducing hurler, as he racked up 145 strikeouts in 103 innings despite the disappointing peripheral numbers.

The five-year veteran is under contract through 2020 and is 38-33 with a 3.82 ERA in 587 1/3 career innings.

D-backs, Red Sox to meet with Martinez
The D-backs and Red Sox are among the clubs lined up to meet with free agent slugger J.D. Martinez at the Winter Meetings on Wednesday, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Heyman noted the D-backs' interest in dealing right-hander Zack Greinke could be intertwined with their desire to free up money to reunite with Martinez, who hit 29 home runs and racked up 65 RBIs in 62 games following a midseason move from Detroit to Arizona. His 29 long balls broke the record for the most hit by any player who debuted with a new team on or after July 1.

The 30-year-old outfielder is reportedly seeking a contract north of $200 million, and he also will not require giving up a draft pick to sign because of the rules under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Since Martinez was traded midseason, he was ineligible to receive a qualifying offer from the D-backs, and thus is free to sign without any draft pick compensation tied to him.

Only Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Trout and Joey Votto have a higher OPS+ over the past four seasons than Martinez's 149 (minimum 1,500 plate appearances).

Mets keep tabs on 2B market
The Mets continue to consider a variety of second basemen on the trade market. According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, that group includes the Tigers' Ian Kinsler, the Indians' Jason Kipnis, the Pirates' Josh Harrison and the Phillies' Cesar Hernandez.

One second baseman the Mets are not looking into, according to Heyman: Starlin Castro, recently dealt from the Yankees to the Marlins in the Giancarlo Stanton trade.

The Mets have been linked to Kinsler for a while, and as the Winter Meetings continue the Tigers appear to be getting closer to actually trading the veteran -- but it might not be to New York. According to MLB.com Tigers reporter Jason Beck, there's some skepticism that the Mets can swing a deal for Kinsler due to their lack of prospect depth. The New York Post's Joel Sherman also reported that the Mets, along with the Angels and Brewers, are on Kinsler's no-trade list, which obviously gives the infielder the right to refuse a trade to any of those clubs.

 

The Angels and Brewers are still in the mix to land Kinsler, but according to Sherman, only Los Angeles is "a near-certain yes right now."

Kipnis has been floated as a possibility for New York since early in the offseason, and the Mets were also linked to Harrison this week. But they have had the most discussions with the Tigers regarding Kinsler, according to Newsday's Marc Carig.

Hernandez is a new name, but it would take a lot to get him from the Phillies, according to Heyman. Hernandez is the youngest of the four at age 27 -- Kinsler is 35, and Kipnis and Harrison are both 30 -- and is under team control until 2021. Hernandez hit .294/.373/.421 in 128 games last season with nine home runs and 15 stolen bases.

If the Mets can't trade for a second baseman, they could address their need via free agency, for example by bringing back Neil Walker.

Rangers, D-backs discuss Greinke?
The Rangers, whose top priority this offseason is adding starting pitching, are in discussions with the D-backs -- and Zack Greinke could be on the table, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.

A deal isn't yet close, and a lot would have to happen for the two teams to make such a trade, according to Sullivan, but discussions are ongoing.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that the Rangers are offering only marginal prospects and want the D-backs to pay part of Greinke's salary, but Arizona is not interested in a salary dump. Still, the Rangers and D-backs could work out a deal with another starter.

Video: D-backs, Rangers reportedly talking Greinke deal

Texas has already signed Mike Minor and Doug Fister since free agency began, but the team missed out on Shohei Ohtani and still wants to add at least one more starter heading into 2018.

They could target one of the free-agent pitchers still available as the Winter Meetings progress -- including Yu Darvish, with whom a reunion is a possibility, as well as players like Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb.

Or they could try to swing a trade for someone like Greinke, who reemerged as an ace for the D-backs last season after a rocky first year in Arizona, helping lead them to the National League Division Series.

The 34-year-old right-hander went 17-7 with a 3.20 ERA and 215 strikeouts in 202 1/3 innings in 2017, earning his fourth career All-Star nod and finishing fourth in the NL Cy Young voting. Greinke is entering the third year of a six-year, $206.5 million deal he signed with Arizona prior to the 2016 season, which runs through 2021. He will make $34 million in 2018.

Blue Jays reportedly talk with CC
The market for CC Sabathia continues to take shape, with the veteran left-hander meeting with the Blue Jays on Tuesday, according to the New York Post's George King. The Yankees are also still talking to the 37-year-old free agent to potentially bring him back in 2018, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Sabathia has also had discussions with the Angels about signing with them, King reported on Sunday, bringing the known field to three teams.

Toronto entered the Winter Meetings in the market for a fifth starter, and Sabathia could fill that need nicely. Sabathia made 27 starts for the Yankees last season and went 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 148 2/3 innings. He also drew some key starts in the postseason as the Yankees reached Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.

But that success, and having pitched in New York since 2009, could also make a deal to remain a Yankee more likely, especially after the Yankees missed out on signing Shohei Ohtani. Sabathia has said he hopes to return to New York in 2018.

The Angels, of course, were the ones who landed the Japanese phenom, but they could still want to add starting pitching given that their rotation has been decimated by injuries over the past several seasons. That includes staff ace Garrett Richards and others like Matt Shoemaker, Andrew Heaney and Tyler Skaggs all missing extended time. Sabathia would give the Angels extra depth.

A's focused on Piscotty
The Athletics have largely spent the offseason addressing their bullpen but now turn their attention to hitting.

According to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, the team has zeroed in on Stephen Piscotty, who is part of a crowded Cardinals outfield.

Piscotty is coming off a down season in which he slashed .235/.342/.367 with nine home runs, but he went deep 22 times in 2016. He is in line to fight for a corner-outfield spot with Randal Grichuk, Harrison Bader and Magneuris Sierra, while the team also has top prospects Tyler O'Neill and Jose Adolis Garcia waiting in the wings.

Piscotty could also be of particular interest to the A's as he grew up in the Bay Area and went to college at Stanford. His name has been picking up heat lately as the Marlins have been connected to him in a potential Marcell Ozuna trade.

Video: Lee discusses A's seeking right-handed bat

Shaw, Hunter reportedly nearing deals
There was a flurry of activity in the relief market Tuesday evening, and free agents Bryan Shaw and Tommy Hunter are reportedly off the board.

The Phillies are nearing an agreement with Hunter, a source told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, and Shaw is close to a deal with the Rockies, per MLB Network insider Joel Sherman. Shaw's deal is for three years and valued at around $9 million annually, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

Hunter would be the second addition to the Phillies' bullpen this week. They also came to terms on a two-year contract with Pat Neshek, pending a physical, Zolecki reported Monday.

The 31-year-old right-hander spent the 2017 season with the Rays, who signed him to a Minor League deal last winter. He posted a 2.61 ERA through 61 games (58 2/3 innings).

Video: Bryan Shaw reportedly agrees to terms with Rockies

Shaw, 30, has spent the last five years in Cleveland. He made at least 70 relief appearances in each of those seasons and owns a 3.11 ERA in that span (358 2/3 innings).

Cubs, Yankees check in on Duffy
If the Royals are indeed intent on initiating a rebuild in 2018, it could be more than free agents Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas switching uniforms. MLB Network insider Joel Sherman reports that many clubs, most notably the Cubs and Yankees, have asked Kansas City about left-handed starter Danny Duffy, though a deal did not seem imminent.

Duffy, 28, broke out with a 12-3 record, 3.51 ERA and 188 strikeouts over 179 2/3 innings for the Royals while moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation in 2016. Last year was rockier for the southpaw, as he managed to toss just 146 1/3 innings while dealing with injury. Duffy, who underwent surgery in October to remove a loose body from his left elbow, is under team control until 2022 and is slated to earn $14 million next season.

Duffy presents an interesting match for the Cubs, who may let Jake Arrieta walk in free agency and have already added Tyler Chatwood to their rotation this offseason. The Yankees, meanwhile, cleared financial space by trading Chase Headley to the Padres on Tuesday morning and now have roughly $30 million to spend before reaching the luxury tax threshold, per MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. Bolstering the starting rotation is seen as the Yankees' next priority after the Bronx Bombers finalized their trade for Giancarlo Stanton on Monday.

Marlins discussing Straily deal
As the Marlins' rebuild continues, their trade talks have expanded to include starter Dan Straily.

According to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, Miami has discussed the right-hander with the Orioles, among other American League East teams that need pitching. The Yankees and Blue Jays have also been in the market for starters.

Straily, 29, registered a 4.26 ERA over 181 2/3 innings in his first season with the Marlins and is under team control for three more seasons. He is arbitration eligible for the first time this winter.

The Orioles only return two starters this winter: Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman. Their internal options include Alec Asher, Gabriel Ynoa and Miguel Castro, although the team has also been connected to free-agent starters Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn.

Pirates preparing to deal Cole?
The Pirates are reportedly prepared to trade ace Gerrit Cole if they can find a suitable trade partner, ESPN's Buster Olney reported Tuesday.

If the Pirates were to make Cole available, he would be a hot commodity as one of the top arms on the market. The Yankees already surfaced as a possible destination in trade rumors Monday, per MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, though it was unclear if Pittsburgh was willing to part with him.

The Yankees have long been linked to Cole, whom they drafted in the first round back in 2008. They were unable to sign him out of Orange Lutheran High School in Orange, Calif.

New York refrained from giving up any of its top prospects to obtain Giancarlo Stanton from Miami and remains loaded with top-end young talent. Perhaps general manager Brian Cashman could be willing to part with a top prospect to open the Pirates' ears.

Cole, 27, is coming off a down year in 2017, going 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA in 33 starts. He is 59-42 with a 3.50 ERA in 127 starts over his five-year career with the Pirates.

Yankees eyeing Fulmer?
The Yankees are clearly not content with simply acquiring home run champ Giancarlo Stanton, as New York traded third baseman Chase Headley and reliever Bryan Mitchell to the Padres on Tuesday for outfielder Jabari Blash. The Yankees' next need would figure to be filling out their starting rotation, and a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer is a potential trade target for New York.

Video: Yanks rumored to be interested in trading for Fulmer

Fulmer won't come cheap. The 2016 American League Rookie of the Year is under team control for five more years and is seen is one of the brightest young starters in the game. As the Tigers embark on their rebuild in full, they certainly appear to be in the market for talented position-player prospects. Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier seems like the natural headliner for a Yankees-Tigers deal involving Fulmer, but Detroit would be expected to garner a big prospect haul beyond Frazier, too.

Fulmer represents a big piece of Detroit's future, but the Tigers could potentially turn one talented prospect into three or four from the Yankees' revered farm system. Fulmer just turned 23, and he is coming off a season in which he went 10-12 with a 3.83 ERA for a team that lost 98 games. In a record-setting year for home runs across the Majors, Fulmer's rate of 0.711 homers allowed per nine innings was the best in the AL.

Market developing for CarGo
MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reported Tuesday that the market for outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is beginning to take shape, noting the Astros, Orioles, Rockies and A's are among the teams to express interest. The Blue Jays, Rays, Giants and Royals have also been linked to the 32-year-old this winter.

Gonzalez endured a down year in 2017, batting .262/.339/.423 with 14 homers in 136 games with the Rockies. But he's just one year removed from his 2016 All-Star campaign, during which he hit .298 with 100 RBIs, 25 homers and a career-best 42 doubles.

A return to Colorado isn't out of the cards. Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said Monday on MLB Network that the club will "continue conversations" with Gonzalez.

Gonzalez has spent nine of his 10 big league seasons with the Rockies, earning three trips to the All-Star Game (2012, '13 and '16). He's a .288 career hitter with 215 home runs.

Video: LAD@COL: Gonzalez belts a solo homer to right field

Reds' outfielders generating interest
Billy Hamilton ranks among the Majors' fastest baserunners and best defensive center fielders, and he's drawing interest on the Hot Stove.

MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reports that Hamilton and other Reds outfielders are floating around Winter Meetings discussions, with the Giants reportedly being the team most interested in Hamilton. Those other outfielders could include Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler.

Hamilton, 27, recorded the second-fastest average sprint speed among MLB players last year at 30.1 feet per second, ranking just behind Twins center fielder Byron Buxton. Hamilton was also a top-10 outfielder in terms of the Statcast™ Outs Above Average (OAA) metric. That makes Hamilton a potential fit for San Francisco, who missed out on both Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton and featured the Majors' second-worst outfield by OAA in 2017.

Video: Bochy praises Billy Hamilton's unique skill set

Hamilton is the only player in this decade to record at least four seasons with 50 or more stolen bases, doing so consecutively from 2014 through last year. Getting on base to affect opposing pitchers and defenses has been a bigger challenge, as Hamilton hit only .247 in 2017 and owns a career .298 on-base percentage. He won''t fix the power issues for the Giants' offense, who finished last in the Majors in home runs and OPS a year ago. But he would figure to be a defensive upgrade in center over Denard Span, who could be moved to left to platoon with Hunter Pence in 2018. Hamilton is still under team control for two more years before he becomes a free agent in the fall of 2020.

Orioles shopping Machado, who seeks return to SS
The Orioles are shopping star third baseman Manny Machado as he enters his final season before free agency, per MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

While the Orioles are seeking two young, controllable starting pitchers according to Rosenthal, Machado is also seeking something himself: a return to shortstop.

Machado 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 when he reached the Majors, a position in which he as flourished as one of the best in baseball.

Soon entering free agency at age 26, Machado could make himself even more valuable if he shows he still has what it takes at shortstop. Machado's .840 OPS the past three seasons would rank third among shortstops during that span.

Hosmer to Padres is "very real" possibility
The Padres have already added a friendly face in their trade for Chase Headley and now they might be opening the checkbook for a big boost to their lineup. The possibility of free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer signing with the Padres is "very real," a source told MLB.com's AJ Cassavell.

The Padres already have a franchise player at first base in Wil Myers, but it has been reported in the past that Myers is open to a move back to the outfield, where he played coming up through the Minors and then in Tampa Bay. After two seasons as the Rays' full-time right fielder, Myers has played just nine games in right through three seasons with San Diego.

Phillies, Nationals considering Arrieta
The Phillies might still be a year away from contending, but they're considering what would be a big splash with free-agent starting pitcher Jake Arrieta, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. The Nationals, meanwhile already figure to have a playoff-worthy rotation in 2018, but they've also expressed interest in adding Arrieta, according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

As Heyman pointed out, many Phillies executives know Arrieta well from their shared time in the Orioles organization, including president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail and general manager Matt Klentak.

Arrieta represents one of the biggest draws in free agency this offseason. Signing him would be both a big risk for a Phillies team that went 66-96 last season, but also a message that they think contention is just around the corner.

As far as the Nats go, it's worth noting that the club has a good relationship with Scott Boras, who is the agent Arrieta -- as well as Washington's 1-2 punch of Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.

Arrieta's contract year didn't go exactly as planned last season, as he struggled with the long ball and right hamstring issues on the way to a 3.53 ERA in 2017, but his track record with the Cubs is stellar. He ranks fifth in the Majors in ERA over the past four seasons with a 2.67 mark.

Multiple clubs pursuing Bruce
Jay Bruce is drawing attention from several teams on the free-agent market. According to a report from Heyman on Monday night, the Mets, Rockies, Blue Jays and Mariners are among those interested in the power-hitting right fielder.

Bruce slugged a career-high 36 home runs in 2017, as well as a pair of big homers for the Indians in the American League Division Series against the Yankees. The 30-year-old hit .254/.324/.508 and also drove in 101 runs.

The Mets would be looking for a reunion with Bruce, who spent parts of the past two seasons in New York. The Mets traded for Bruce at the 2016 Trade Deadline before sending him to the Indians this past August. In 153 total games for the Mets, Bruce hit 37 home runs and tallied 94 RBIs. The team is faced with uncertainty in the outfield with Michael Conforto recovering from left shoulder surgery and unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, and Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Lagares both missing significant time due to injury in 2017.

The Rockies and Blue Jays both have vacancies in right field due to longtime franchise cornerstones becoming free agents this offseason -- Carlos Gonzalez for Colorado and Jose Bautista for Toronto.

The Mariners may be a less likely destination for Bruce. After trading for the Marlins' Dee Gordon, whom they plan to convert to a center fielder, Seattle is set up with Ben Gamel, Gordon and Mitch Haniger across the outfield. General manager Jerry Dipoto has said that the team is focused strictly on adding starting pitching with Gordon now on the roster.

Sabean says Cain, Moustakas might be long shot for Giants
At first glance, it would appear free agents Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas would be ideal fits for a Giants club that sorely needs to upgrade its outfield defense and its run production from third base. But the qualifying offers the Royals extended to both players makes the Giants unlikely suitors, according to the team's executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean.

"If you're asking me personally, my vote would be a no," Sabean told NBC Sports Bay Area, "being that we wouldn't want to get involved with somebody like that."

Sabean was referring to what the Giants would have to give up if they signed either Cain or Moustakas this winter. Per the new CBA, San Francisco would give up its No. 2 pick in the second round of next June's amateur Draft, as well as $1 million in international bonus pool money, should it sign a player who rejected his original team's qualifying offer.

"That would be a huge hit in a year [we have] the second pick in every round," Sabean said. "We really have a chance to make hay in this Draft, and we expect to do so, so that would be a stretch."

While the Giants are obviously looking to improve on their 64-98 record in 2017, they're also hoping to restock a relatively shallow farm system and become bigger players in the international market. San Francisco's title window, already plentiful with three World Series championships in five years from 2010-14, may be coming to a conclusion, and it would appear prudent for the club to keep some resources for a potential rebuild.

Astros showing interest in Darvish, Arrieta
The World Series-champion Astros are "considering the addition of another marquee starting pitcher," according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

Sources tell Rosenthal that Houston is particularly interested in free-agent right-handers Yu Darvish and Arrieta. Rosenthal also reports the club could feel out the trade market for starting pitchers, especially if someone such as the Rays' Chris Archer becomes available.

The Astros went out and got Justin Verlander on Aug. 31 in a trade that paid huge dividends en route to their title run, and it appears the team is looking to build even further on the phenomenal rotation it already has.

Rosenthal notes that Verlander's contract ends after the 2019 season and the reported hiring of Scott Boras by left-hander Dallas Keuchel (a hint that he will test the free-agent waters when his contract is up at the end of 2018). Both factors figure to play prominent roles in how the Astros approach the market this offseason.

Darvish, 31, was acquired by the Dodgers a month before Verlander was dealt to Houston and pitched well for Los Angeles during the regular season. The Japanese hurler went 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in nine starts for the Dodgers before having an up-and-down postseason. He struggled particularly versus the Astros, who got to him for nine runs (eight earned) in 3 1/3 innings during the World Series.

The Astros don't appear to be scared off by those struggles, however, and Darvish has had an excellent career to date. The four-time All-Star finished second in the American League Cy Young Award voting in 2013 with Texas and is 56-42 with a 3.42 ERA in 131 career starts.

Arrieta has been sensational since being traded from the Orioles to the Cubs in 2013. The 31-year-old went 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA in 128 starts over five seasons with Chicago. He was the National League Cy Young Award winner in 2015.

The Rays are reportedly generating trade interest from a number of clubs regarding Archer, among some of their other stars, but it's unclear whether they would indeed part with their star right-hander. Archer, 29, is 51-63 with a 3.63 ERA in six season with Tampa Bay.

Nationals keeping tabs on Kintzler, Rondon
The Nationals, who shored up their bullpen prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline in acquiring Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the A's and Brandon Kintzler from the Twins, are continuing to try and bolster their late-inning staff.

Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports the club has "expressed interest in bringing back" Kintzler and Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post reports the team has "checked in" on former Cubs reliever Hector Rondon.

Kintzler recorded a 3.46 ERA in 27 appearances following the move to Washington, and while general manager Mike Rizzo would like to retain him, his market is heating up as the Winter Meetings progress. The 33-year-old is reportedly drawing interest from "many other teams," per Janes, and it's possible he could sign elsewhere for more than what the Nationals are willing to give considering he would be the third option behind Madson and Doolittle.

Kintzler, who went 4-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 72 appearances in 2017 split between the Twins and Nationals, was selected to the American League All-Star team.

Rondon, 29, worked with new Nationals manager Dave Martinez while pitching for the Cubs, so there is an obvious link between the two sides. Rondon went 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in 61 appearances last season, but has a 3.22 career ERA over five Major League seasons, all with the Cubs.

Chicago non-tendered Rondon earlier this month, in turn granting him free agency. Castillo notes he is a "name to keep in mind" for the Nationals this offseason.

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