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Yanks trade Headley, Mitchell to Padres

New York acquires 28-year-old outfielder Blash from San Diego
MLB.com @BryanHoch

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Yankees are continuing to make noise at the Winter Meetings, agreeing on Tuesday to trade third baseman Chase Headley and right-hander Bryan Mitchell to the Padres in exchange for outfielder Jabari Blash.

The Yankees are also sending $500,000 to the Padres as part of the deal, with San Diego assuming most of the $13 million remaining on Headley's contract, which ends after the 2018 season. That frees additional cash as Yankees general manager Brian Cashman continues to pursue starting pitching while planning to keep the team's 2018 payroll below the luxury tax threshold of $197 million.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Yankees are continuing to make noise at the Winter Meetings, agreeing on Tuesday to trade third baseman Chase Headley and right-hander Bryan Mitchell to the Padres in exchange for outfielder Jabari Blash.

The Yankees are also sending $500,000 to the Padres as part of the deal, with San Diego assuming most of the $13 million remaining on Headley's contract, which ends after the 2018 season. That frees additional cash as Yankees general manager Brian Cashman continues to pursue starting pitching while planning to keep the team's 2018 payroll below the luxury tax threshold of $197 million.

New York has been connected to free agents Alex Cobb and CC Sabathia, while also exploring the trade market. USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported on Tuesday that the Yankees have shown interest in D-backs left-hander Patrick Corbin and Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer.

The 28-year-old Blash is a career .200/.323/.336 hitter through two seasons with San Diego, hitting eight homers with 21 RBIs in 99 games. A right-handed hitter with power, Blash could be utilized as corner depth in the Yankees' outfield, having played 51 career games in right field and 22 games in left field.

Video: SF@SD: Blash crushes tape-measure jack to left-center

Originally drafted by the Mariners in the eighth round in 2010, Blash has hit .260/.378/.513 with 140 home runs, 432 RBIs and 392 walks in 685 games over eight Minor League seasons. His 106 Minor League home runs over the past five seasons are tied for eighth most in the Minors in that span.

The move reduces the Yankees' 40-man roster to 39 players and spells a return to San Diego for the 33-year-old Headley, who played the first 7 1/2 seasons of his big league career with the Padres before being dealt to New York in July 2014.

The switch-hitting Headley hit .273/.352/.406 with 12 homers and 61 RBIs in 147 games last season, moving from third base to first base after Todd Frazier was acquired from the White Sox in July.

Video: Castrovince on the Yankees trading Headley to Padres

Headley's departure could set up a reunion with Frazier, who is currently a free agent and hit .222/.365/.423 in 66 games for the Yankees. Another option is Miguel Andujar, who is the team's No. 5 prospect according to MLB Pipeline and played briefly at the big league level last season. Thought to be an impact hitter, the organization did have some concerns about Andujar's developing defensive skills.

The Yankees also have a hole at second base after dealing Starlin Castro to the Marlins in the Giancarlo Stanton trade. Cashman has named Thairo Estrada, Gleyber Torres, Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade as candidates for that vacancy, and some of those names could see time at third base as well.

Mitchell, who turns 27 in April, was 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA in 20 games (one start) at the big league level last season. A 16th-round pick by the Yankees in the 2009 Draft, scouts have raved about Mitchell's stuff, but he has had trouble remaining healthy and he had been surpassed by others on the team's depth chart.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

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

New York Yankees, Jabari Blash, Chase Headley, Bryan Mitchell

Today at Winter Meetings: In Real Life

MLB.com

MLB.com is on the scene in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for Day 2 of baseball's annual Winter Meetings. Catch up on all of today's action right here.

3:04 p.m. ET: Dr. Roberts
The Dodgers are comfortable taking their time at this year's Winter Meetings, but that probably won't do much to stop reporters from asking manager Dave Roberts about potential deals.

MLB.com is on the scene in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for Day 2 of baseball's annual Winter Meetings. Catch up on all of today's action right here.

3:04 p.m. ET: Dr. Roberts
The Dodgers are comfortable taking their time at this year's Winter Meetings, but that probably won't do much to stop reporters from asking manager Dave Roberts about potential deals.

2:53 p.m. ET: Mickey: Tito, you're so fine
New Mets manager Mickey Callaway talks about learning the art of bullpen management while working as the Indians' pitching coach under skipper Terry Francona: "If you go back and look at Terry Francona's bullpens, there's not too many guys that ever struggled."

Tweet from @AnthonyDiComo: Here's Mickey Callaway discussing his philosophy of late-game bullpen roles. #Mets pic.twitter.com/1ZsL9k99XU

2:26 p.m. ET: Neander haul?
The Rays, who could choose to build on last year's 80-win season or position themselves for the future, are one of the most interesting teams to watch at the Meetings. General manager Erik Neander sits down with MLB Network to talk about all the possibilities.

2:14 p.m. ET: Going, going, Gonzo!
Two women dressed as flamingos on stilts? No, you're not Hunter S. Thompson. You're at the Winter Meetings!

1:22 p.m. ET: Manny on the move?
MLB Network's Christopher Russo sounds off on reports that the Orioles are listening to offers for superstar Manny Machado, who wants to move from third base to shortstop next season, from the floor of the Winter Meetings.

Tweet from @MLBNetwork: A move to shortstop? A new team?These Manny Machado rumors "have juice." @MadDogUnleashed #HighHeat pic.twitter.com/Om7vn9wkqN

12:54 p.m. ET: Fans pepper Jack
MLB.com's Dani Wex may not draw the same crowd of autograph seekers as Jack Morris, but then again, he's a Hall of Famer.

Tweet from @DaniWex: One of us is a HOFer... 📸: @Skippins #jackmorris pic.twitter.com/abC27kob52

12:30 p.m. ET: Jersey? Sure!
The Baseball Trade Show at the Winter Meetings boasts a pretty epic selection of Theme Night jerseys.

12:23 p.m. ET: Hey, Buddy
The Mets hope to find a reliever or a second baseman under the tree this Christmas, and it looks like they've got a representative on their side in the North Pole.

11:15 a.m. ET: A walk to remember
Put on your best collared shirt, hang that credential around your neck and take a stroll through the Winter Meetings. 

Tweet from @WinterMeetings: A walk-through the heart of #WinterMeetings madness 😅 pic.twitter.com/y3DpqVWSqm

10:17 a.m. ET: From one generation to the next
Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin, veteran reliever Luke Gregerson and Pirates infielder Max Moroff took part in the "Fun At Bat" event at Bay Meadows Elementary School on Tuesday morning, conducting workshops and baseball drills for young students.

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

Source: O's looking into Machado suitors

MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As the Orioles look to acquire two starting pitchers, the team has taken a rather uncharacteristic stance: shopping star player Manny Machado.

While rumors about the possibility of trading Machado have been swirling all offseason, a report Tuesday morning in The Athletic took things a step further, saying the O's are actively shopping him and encouraging opposing clubs to make them an offer. A source has since confirmed to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that the club is indeed looking for potential trade partners for Machado.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As the Orioles look to acquire two starting pitchers, the team has taken a rather uncharacteristic stance: shopping star player Manny Machado.

While rumors about the possibility of trading Machado have been swirling all offseason, a report Tuesday morning in The Athletic took things a step further, saying the O's are actively shopping him and encouraging opposing clubs to make them an offer. A source has since confirmed to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that the club is indeed looking for potential trade partners for Machado.

Hot Stove Tracker

Machado will be a free agent at the end of 2018, and there's been a growing sentiment within the organization that it will not be able to sign him long term. While executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has not confirmed that the club is actively shopping any of its players, he did say on Monday that the O's may have to move quicker this offseason in order to upgrade their rotation.

The Orioles have 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.

Trading Machado a year away from free agency may not be able to net them enough to fully reload the rotation, but it would be an important signal that the organization is committed to building more for the future. The O's find themselves in an interesting crossroads this offseason, with Machado, Adam Jones, Zach Britton, Duquette and manager Buck Showalter among those in their final contract years.

Should Machado stay with the Orioles for his final season, the infielder would prefer to move to shortstop. The move, first reported by The Athletic and confirmed by MLB.com, would put Machado back at the position he was drafted in, but it would leave a gaping hole at third for Baltimore next season.

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

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.

Source: Nationals expressing interest in Arrieta

MLB.com @JamalCollier

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- In order to fill the need at the back end of their rotation, perhaps the Nationals will look to add another starting pitcher to the top of their rotation. Washington has expressed interested in free-agent right-hander Jake Arrieta, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand on Tuesday afternoon.

Arrieta would give the Nationals another powerful right-hander atop their rotation alongside Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, creating one of the most formidable rotation trios in the Majors. Combining those three with Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark could form one of the best rotations on paper in recent memory.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- In order to fill the need at the back end of their rotation, perhaps the Nationals will look to add another starting pitcher to the top of their rotation. Washington has expressed interested in free-agent right-hander Jake Arrieta, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand on Tuesday afternoon.

Arrieta would give the Nationals another powerful right-hander atop their rotation alongside Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, creating one of the most formidable rotation trios in the Majors. Combining those three with Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark could form one of the best rotations on paper in recent memory.

Hot Stove Tracker

That prospect could be enticing to the Nationals -- who already tried to build a "super rotation" when they signed Scherzer before the 2015 season -- considering they have built their team around starting pitching during their recent run of success. The connection between Arrieta and the Nationals is not surprising considering Arrieta's agent, Scott Boras, has such a strong working relationship with the club.

How intently the team plans to pursue Arrieta, who will turn 32 in March, is unclear.

Arrieta will almost certainly command a nine-figure deal similar to those of Scherzer and Strasburg. The Nats still have more than $300 million combined committed to those two pitchers. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has maintained that he is only looking to add starting pitching depth this offseason, aiming to boost the back end of the rotation instead of the top. He reiterated on Monday that he would be comfortable with one of his in-house options -- mainly A.J. Cole or Erick Fedde -- beginning the season as the team's fifth starter.

However, Rizzo has also traditionally added to the front of his rotation when his team has a starting pitching need. With Gonzalez set to be a free agent after the 2018 season, perhaps the Nationals could lock in his replacement now.

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, Jake Arrieta

MLB Buzz: Cubs, Yanks check in on Duffy

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Interest high for Ozuna, Yelich
The Marlins have cleared two massive chunks of salary in Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton in their quest to get their payroll under $90 million, but could All-Star outfielder Marcell Ozuna be next?

MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported Monday night that the Marlins are pushing Ozuna over fellow outfielder Christian Yelich, telling teams that Ozuna will cost less in a trade. Ozuna is under team control for two more years and due to become a free agent in 2020, while the 26-year-old Yelich will be under control for five more years -- his contract runs through 2021 with a club option for '22. 

The Marlins have remained reluctant to trade Yelich, but at least 10 teams are expressing interest in the 26-year-old left fielder. The D-backs, Cardinals and Braves are among the inquiring clubs, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.

Yelich, who turned 26 on Dec. 5, is making $7 million in 2018, and he is signed for $43.25 million through 2021, with a $15 million club option in 2022.

The market for Ozuna has eight-to-10 teams interested -- the Nationals, Cardinals and Giants. According to the Miami Herald, the Rockies, Rangers and Blue Jays also are in the mix.

Frisaro reported Monday that the market for Ozuna is starting to build now that Stanton has been dealt to the Yankees. As many as six to eight teams have expressed some level of interest to the Marlins concerning Ozuna, per Frisaro, who states the Cardinals, Giants and Nationals are among the interested parties.

St. Louis and San Francisco seem like natural fits for Ozuna, as each expressed a willingness to take on salary in the Stanton sweepstakes and are both looking for impact bats in the outfield. Ozuna is coming into his prime years at age 27, having posted a .312/.376/.548 slash line with 37 home runs and 124 RBIs last season. The left fielder is eligible for arbitration this winter after playing on a one-year, $3.5 million deal in 2017.

Phillies not done fortifying bullpen
One day after they brought Pat Neshek back into the fold with a reported two-year deal worth at least $16 million, the Phillies appear to be taking another step to shore up their bullpen. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported Tuesday that Philadelphia was holding ongoing discussions with Addison Reed, one of this winter's most coveted free-agent relievers.

Philadelphia is a team on the rise, but is regarded by many as still being a year away from truly contending. The Phillies will have money to spend in next winter's free-agent bonanza, headlined potentially by Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, but in the meantime it looks as though fortifying the bullpen is the team's top priority this winter. The 4.18 ERA recorded by Philadelphia relievers ranked squarely in the middle of the 30 MLB clubs last year. Philly's bullpen unit struggled to begin 2017 but showed encouraging signs down the stretch with a 2.64 ERA that ranked third-best in the Majors.

Reed, 28, was acquired by the Red Sox from the Mets at last July's Trade Deadline in exchange for pitcher Jamie Callahan and Minor Leaguers Gerson Bautista and Stephen Nogosek. The right-hander finished 2017 with a 2.84 ERA, 3.67 FIP and 1.053 WHIP over 76 innings while also recording 19 saves. Reed has shown flexibility as either a capable setup man or closer. The Cardinals have also shown overt interest in Reed, and a possible reunion with the Mets -- who themselves are in the market for an eighth-inning setup man -- is not out of the question.

Mets appear to be shopping Harvey
Mets starter Matt Harvey was one of the game's brightest young pitchers just two years ago, but his precipitous fall has come to the point where the Mets appear to be shopping the right-hander at this year's Winter Meetings.

The New York Daily News reported Sunday that the Mets were interacting with at least two teams about a trade involving Harvey, and it was rumored early Monday afternoon that one of those teams could be the Rangers. Texas' top priority has been clear since the moment the season ended: Acquire a starting pitcher to slot in behind Cole Hamels. After signing Mike Minor to begin that process, Texas appears to be in discussions with the Mets regarding a potential trade that could involve pitcher Harvey in exchange for infielder Jurickson Profar. New York is in the market for a second baseman, making Profar an intriguing piece in a potential deal between the Mets and Rangers.

Profar's stock, like Harvey's, has fallen in recent years, as the former No. 1 prospect in all of baseball lost out on playing time last year to Delino DeShields and Ryan Rua in left field. Profar has also been blocked out of the second base and shortstop positions by the Rangers' double-play combo of Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus.

Meanwhile, MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported that the Orioles were discussing a trade with the Mets that could involve a reliever in exchange for Harvey. Relievers Brad Brach and Darren O'Day figure to be top candidates, considering their arbitration projections are similar to Harvey's. Baltimore's rotation is likely its top priority to improve this offseason, while the Mets' top targets include a set-up man at the back end.

Harvey, 28, struggled in 2017 after returning from surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, going 5-7 with a 6.70 ERA and showing diminished velocity on his fastball. He could be a player who benefits from a change in scenery, but it would be noteworthy to see the Mets unload one of their prized marquee pitchers -- a group seen by many as be the club's biggest strength in recent years.

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.

A's may shop Lowrie
The A's began the offseason by exercising Jed Lowrie's $6 million club option for 2018, but there's a possibility he won't play in Oakland next season.

With second basemen in high demand this winter, the A's could shop Lowrie on the trade market, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The report names the Mets, Brewers and Angels as teams looking to upgrade at that position.

If the A's did move Lowrie, they'd likely be seeking corner outfielders or left-handed relievers, both areas of need. In the event of a Lowrie trade, A's top prospect Franklin Barreto could replace him at second base.

Lowrie enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career in 2017, leading the A's with a .277 batting average and hitting a franchise record 49 doubles. He also posted career-high marks for walks (73) and runs (86).

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.

Yankees pursuing Pirates' Cole
The Yankees, after acquiring reigning National League Most Valuable Player Giancarlo Stanton, are not done wheeling and dealing.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, the Yankees are looking to acquire Pirates' right-hander Gerrit Cole. However, Heyman notes the "initial impression" is that Pittsburgh is not trading him.

The Yankees have long been linked to Cole, who 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 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.

With Neshek gone, Rockies eying other 'pen options

The Rockies entered the offseason looking to strengthen the part of their club that enjoyed the biggest improvement in 2017 -- the bullpen. That goal has not changed as the Winter Meetings revved up Monday.

MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reports the Rockies were one of the clubs interested in re-signing reliever Pat Neshek, for one. The side-arming Neshek, whom Colorado acquired from Philadelphia last July, reportedly agreed to a two-year deal Monday that will send him back to Philadelphia.

With Neshek off the board, Colorado is still exploring "numerous options" to boost the bullpen, including closer Wade Davis, according to Rosenthal. The club has also made it clear it is interested in a possible return with Greg Holland, who set a franchise record with 41 saves in 2017. Colorado improved its bullpen ERA by nearly a full run from 2016 to 2017, when it earned its first postseason berth in eight years.

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.

Angels reach out to Moustakas
With Shohei Ohtani in tow, the Angels are moving on to their other primary needs this offseason. That includes third base, and Los Angeles has reached out to free agent Mike Moustakas, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.

Moustakas, 29, broke out for 38 home runs in 2017 to set a Royals single-season record. Though he missed much of 2016 with a right knee injury, he was one of the catalysts of Kansas City's 2015 World Series champions and could bring leadership to an Angels club looking to join the postseason fray. Angels third basemen, which included Yunel Escobar and Luis Valbuena, posted a collective .713 OPS in 2017, which ranked as the second-worst of any AL club. Fletcher also reports that free agent Logan Morrison could be in play for the Angels, though Los Angeles already has a potential logjam with Ohtani needing the DH role, thereby moving Albert Pujols to a more active role at first base.

Rodney meeting with teams at Winter Meetings
Fernando Rodney is attending the Winter Meetings and plans to meet with "executives from multiple teams," a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.

Rodney, who turns 41 years old in March, racked up 39 saves while recording a 4.23 ERA and 65 strikeouts over 55 1/3 innings for the D-backs in 2017. Rodney started off the season slow, but he pitched to a 2.38 ERA in 50 appearances from May through the end of the season.

Rodney is 44-63 with a 3.73 ERA over the course of his 15-year career and has accumulated exactly 300 saves.

Among the teams known to be searching for relief help are the Cardinals, Rockies and Mets, but it is unclear if these teams are those scheduled to meet with Rodney's representatives.

Rockies reunion with Reynolds?
The Rockies are interested in bringing back Mark Reynolds as a free agent once again, according to a report from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman on Monday night.

The veteran first baseman has already twice rewarded Colorado for inking him on the open market. The Rockies initially signed Reynolds prior to the 2016 season, and after he put together a solid first year in Colorado, they re-signed him last winter. Reynolds then hit 30 home runs and had 97 RBIs in 2017 as the Rockies made the National League Wild Card Game.

Reynolds' free-agent status leaves Colorado with a need for a run-producing corner bat. Bringing back the 34-year-old would of course be the direct way to address that. The Rockies have also been linked to free-agent first basemen Carlos Santana and Logan Morrison this offseason, both of whom could provide power from the position, as well as corner outfielder Jay Bruce.

The Rockies' interest in Santana is believed to be stronger than their interest in Morrison and Bruce. Reynolds, though, would come at a significantly lower price tag than the switch-hitting 31-year-old, who has been a key bat in the Indians' lineup since his first full season in 2011.

As of now, the Rockies' chief first-base option is Ian Desmond, but they might want to play him in the outfield with Carlos Gonzalez now a free agent. Bringing back Reynolds would give the team much more flexibility as to where to play Desmond.

Tribe makes offer to Santana
In a deep free-agent market for first basemen/designated hitters, Carlos Santana has received a contract offer from the Indians, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He has reportedly not accepted the offer, but informed the Indians they will have a chance to make a counteroffer should he receive a proposal from another team that is to his liking.

Santana, 31, has spent his entire career to this point with Cleveland. Last season, he slashed .259/.363/.455 with 23 homers in 154 games. He also won the first defensive award of his career, being named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at first base. In eight seasons with the Tribe, Santana has posted an .810 OPS with 174 home runs.

There are several other teams also interested in Santana, including the Red Sox, Phillies, Rangers, Mariners and Padres.

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

'Fun' in the sun: MLB teams up for school event

USA Baseball holds special recess event for 100 students
MLB.com @castrovince

ORLANDO, Fla. -- From the moment Luke Gregerson, Zach Eflin and Max Moroff arrived at Bay Meadows Elementary School on Tuesday, the music was playing and the kids were boisterous.

"Pure excitement," Gregerson said.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- From the moment Luke Gregerson, Zach Eflin and Max Moroff arrived at Bay Meadows Elementary School on Tuesday, the music was playing and the kids were boisterous.

"Pure excitement," Gregerson said.

In truth, pure excitement would have been present even if three big league ballplayers weren't in the kids' presence, because, hey, they were out of class and outside on a sun-splashed Florida morning, and what's not to love about that?

But the Fun At Bat event staged by USA Baseball, under the umbrella of Major League Baseball's Play Ball initiative, was no ordinary recess for the roughly 100 students on hand. Moroff, the Pirates infielder, set up balls on a tee for the kids to swat. Gregerson, the World Series champion reliever who just signed with the Cardinals, instructed the kids as they ran the bases. Eflin, the young Phillies right-hander, read to a group of students from a baseball-themed book that focused on character and leadership development.

Mere minutes from baseball's Winter Meetings gathering, this was an in-school avenue for the game to grow future athletes and fans and also good citizens -- something the kids at Bay Meadows are already learning a lot about with their school district taking in more than 2,000 students who were displaced by the recent natural disasters in Puerto Rico and Mexico.

"The sport is one thing," said Rob Bixler, an executive curriculum director for Orange County Public Schools. "We all love baseball. It's a great pastime. But also the ability to interact with your peers, knowing good character education, how to get along, teamwork skills -- all those things combine to make this a phenomenal program."

USA Baseball and MLB have ambitious goals for the program. The pilot phase of Fun At Bat reached 490 schools and more than 300,000 kids this year. The hope is to reach over a million kids by the end of 2018, in all corners of the country.

"We want to be limitless," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's chief executive officer. "It can't just be about sport. At the end of the day, we want to build character and good people, because that's where we're going to create a ripple and do things that are positive. This [program] moves the needle."

With the curriculum guided by SHAPE America and Franklin Sports providing the plastic bats and balls and other equipment the kids can use to in their physical education classes, Fun At Bat joins Summer Slugger -- a baseball-themed online learning program to help kids retain information from the previous school year -- and Shred Hate -- a program with partner ESPN that helps teachers, administrators and students reduce incidents of bullying -- as efforts by MLB to provide official playing curriculum within school.

"They're in class, in their school element, which is important," said Tony Reagins, MLB's senior vice president of youth programs. "It's allowing us to really dig at the grassroots level and reach kids all around the country. That's really exciting. The program is still in its infancy stages, but the responses we've had across the country in implementing it has been outstanding."

Having three current Major Leaguers in attendance brought the event -- and the excitement -- to another level, and all three got a kick out of the kids' raw and real enthusiasm.

"I'm lucky to be out here with them," Moroff said. "I didn't have anything like this as a kid."

Orange County Public Schools became the biggest district, to date, to utilize the Fun At Bat program, and USA Baseball and MLB hope to keep the forward momentum going.

"If you're an administrator anywhere in the country and have interest in this program, reach out to us," Seiler said. "We want to bring the goodness and the positivity of this program to you. No matter where you are, we'll find a way to make it work."

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.

Photo: Trout got married in winter wonderland

Mike Trout has had quite the past few days. On Friday, Shohei Ohtani announced that he would be joining him in the Angels' lineup (and rotation) next season. And that was just the appetizer: Trout also got married over the weekend, and if the first wedding photo is any indication, it was magical.

Wade shares story of B.A.T.'s aid after Harvey

Director of Astros Youth Academy lost home in fire, hurricane
MLB.com @JesseSanchezMLB

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Daryl Wade's life irrevocably changed on Aug. 25.

The director of the Houston Astros Youth Academy was already grieving his brother-in-law, Tommy Goree, who had died the day before after battling cancer. But a dangerous storm was brewing above his northwest Houston neighborhood, and he didn't have time to mourn. He knew he had to prepare.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Daryl Wade's life irrevocably changed on Aug. 25.

The director of the Houston Astros Youth Academy was already grieving his brother-in-law, Tommy Goree, who had died the day before after battling cancer. But a dangerous storm was brewing above his northwest Houston neighborhood, and he didn't have time to mourn. He knew he had to prepare.

At 4:30 in the morning, Wade gassed up all four of his vehicles. Three hours later, he was back on the road at a nearby store buying bags of ice and two cases of water.

The sky darkened. Then his phone rang. It was his son. Their house had been struck by lightning.

"'Daddy, come home. The house is on fire,'" Wade recalled his son's plea. "I said, 'Son, this is nothing to play with.' He hung up. He was serious."

Wade raced home to see his garage and all of those fully gassed vehicles ablaze. He found his sons, Daryl and Patrick, standing barefoot in their normal attire -- Astros T-shirts and shorts -- safely on the front lawn, but they were shaken up. His wife, Euletha, was safe. She had been staying with family as she mourned her brother.

That night, distraught and in shock, the family stayed at a hotel. They woke up to a city in turmoil as Hurricane Harvey destroyed Houston. What the fire didn't destroy of the Wade's home, the four days of rain did.

Wade called MLB's Baseball Assistance Team for help.

"When it happens, and people ask you what you need, you don't even know what to say," Wade said. "I called B.A.T., and because of the grant, we were able to go buy clothes and things we needed. I just had the clothes -- my Astros stuff and flip flops -- I was wearing. My wife had the jeans and clothes she was wearing. Same for my sons. B.A.T. really helped us."

Video: B.A.T. holds inaugural breakfast

Created in 1986 by a group of former Major Leaguers, The Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) was formed to confidentially help members of the baseball family in need of assistance. More than three decades later, the organization still helps members of the baseball family in need of medical, financial, psychological and other types of assistance.

Throughout the years, the organization has awarded more than 3,600 grants and more than $35 million "to restore health, pride and dignity to members of the Baseball Family."

Video: Nilsen on B.A.T. aiding baseball families

On Tuesday morning, B.A.T. held its inaugural breakfast at the Winter Meetings. Wade, who received a grant, chose to share his story and bring awareness to the program.

"The Winter Meetings is a gathering of the individual groups that we try to help," B.A.T. president and former Major League player Randy Winn said. "This is about awareness and letting people know that if you were in the game or still part of the game that we are here to help. The mission statement is to help members of the Baseball Family who are in need, and that's purposely vague so we can help with anything from somebody losing their home, putting food on the table, expenses, electricity or natural disasters like floods and hurricanes. We have seen a large group of people that have needed help from natural disasters."

Video: B.A.T. President Winn on the organization's mission

Wade thanked the Astros' organization -- specifically team owner Jim Crane, president Reid Ryan and senior vice president Marcel Braithwaite -- during the two-hour event. The Wades are leasing a house for now and plan to build a new home.

"You never realize all of the stuff you have and accumulate as you live, and now it's all gone," Wade said. "I'll never get back to where I was and there's a lot of stuff I will never replace, and that's hard. For the first month, I laughed and I smiled. And then you start missing stuff and then it hits you again. I am very grateful to B.A.T. for their help.

"There's a story that I always mess up, but it's about the clown," he said. "The clown is the one who always keeps everyone happy, but who makes the clown happy when he's sad? I truly realized that a few days after August 25 who can make the clown laugh. That's B.A.T., [executive director] Erik [Nilsen] and [administrator] Katie [Lentz]. Thank you very much. I appreciate you."

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

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

Houston Astros

Your move, Boston? NYY cooking, Sox looking

Red Sox shopping for impact bat at 1B/DH as Winter Meetings open
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Finding out on Saturday morning that Giancarlo Stanton was headed to the Yankees wasn't the way Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski would have picked to start his weekend.

"It didn't make my day that he went to the Yankees by any means," Dombrowski said. "He's a heck of a player. I don't think it can change what we do because we're already trying to be the best club we possibly can."

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Finding out on Saturday morning that Giancarlo Stanton was headed to the Yankees wasn't the way Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski would have picked to start his weekend.

"It didn't make my day that he went to the Yankees by any means," Dombrowski said. "He's a heck of a player. I don't think it can change what we do because we're already trying to be the best club we possibly can."

Stanton joining Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez with the Bronx Bombers has only strengthened Dombrowski's resolve to land a big bat of his own, which he has been trying to do this Hot Stove season. Dombrowski will keep shopping until he finds one.

Will it happen at the Winter Meetings, which started Monday and wrap up on Thursday?

"I've generally been active at the Winter Meetings," Dombrowski said. "It's happened. And it could. But I don't feel like a drive that I have to do anything at the Winter Meetings. Even though it's picked up, there's a lot of players [available] and a lot of things that will take place. It's hard for me to imagine all that's going to happen in four days."

Red Sox fans might not want to wait, but Dombrowski knows that he needs to balance persistence with patience, and his goal is to build the best team for Opening Day on March 29, not Dec. 11.

"Well, I have seen clubs try to get things done in an expeditious fashion that they later regret," Dombrowski said. "I have seen that numerous times in my career."

Dombrowski did check in with Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill late last week to see if anything could be worked out with Stanton, but was told that a deal with the Yankees was in the works.

Dombrowski also spoke with the Marlins in November, and in the end, the Red Sox weren't one of the four teams on Stanton's wish list. As the Giants and Cardinals found out last week, it wasn't exactly a productive exercise coming to an agreement on a deal for a player who wouldn't waive his no-trade clause.

The Red Sox have been more focused on finding a bat for first base or designated hitter so they can build around their strong, young outfield of Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts.

Dombrowski disputed a couple of reports on Monday that said he was making it known to clubs that the Red Sox would trade Bradley to find the power bat they need.

"I don't know where those rumors started, but they're not accurate," Dombrowski said. "I can say we have interest [from teams] in our players and people have asked about our players, often. But I would say we're very happy with our outfield. Could we do anything? I can't say we can't do anything with any of our players. But we like our outfield."

Video: Cora discusses his first Winter Meetings experience

In his pursuit to supplement a lineup that finished last in the American League in home runs last season, Dombrowski is staying equally focused on the free-agent and trade markets. He said he is focused on adding one impact bat rather than multiple.

Free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer is more of a pure hitter than a slugger, but he plays a position the Red Sox need to fill, and his leadership could be beneficial for a clubhouse with a lot of young position players.

"We take makeup and leadership [seriously], and all that is very important on a club," Dombrowski said. "What you end up paying for that compared to what you would pay for others, it's part of the equation. So sure, that's important for us."

J.D. Martinez is the most prolific power hitter on the free-agent market (45 homers in 432 at-bats in '17), but he'd likely have to become a DH if he signed with Boston.

Dombrowski is confident that a newly acquired bat, a reliever (preferably a lefty) and the return to form by some talented hitters who regressed last year will have the Red Sox well-positioned to match up with the best teams in the AL.

"It's a great challenge," Dombrowski said. "That's what it's all about. We like our club. If we can get better, we're going to do that. But it's really not based on the Stanton move. We're not changing based upon that. It was already our plan to get better. We not only have to beat the Yankees, we have to beat the Astros, the world champs, because our goal is to not only win our division but to be the world champs. So you have to beat the Astros, you have to beat the Cleveland Indians, you have to beat anyone else involved that's a postseason club."

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

With Stanton set, who nets next big fish in J.D.?

Considering 10 potential fits for free-agent slugger
MLB.com @castrovince

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- They brought Giancarlo Stanton up to a podium here Monday and put him in pinstripes for the first time. With that, the premier power hitter of his time and the newest New York Yankee was officially off the board as baseball's Winter Meetings began with a bang.

Now that Stanton's future is finally settled, attention can turn to the market's next-most attractive power prize. J.D. Martinez doesn't possess Stanton's sheer size or star power, so maybe he doesn't fire up the imagination of the casual fan in quite the same way. But 29 homers in just 62 games after a midseason trade to the D-backs in 2017? A Major League-leading .690 slugging percentage in 489 plate appearances? A barrels-per-plate-appearance rate second only to that of Aaron Judge? That stuff is bound to fire up the imagination of some general managers and owners, even when you factor in the health and defensive concerns.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- They brought Giancarlo Stanton up to a podium here Monday and put him in pinstripes for the first time. With that, the premier power hitter of his time and the newest New York Yankee was officially off the board as baseball's Winter Meetings began with a bang.

Now that Stanton's future is finally settled, attention can turn to the market's next-most attractive power prize. J.D. Martinez doesn't possess Stanton's sheer size or star power, so maybe he doesn't fire up the imagination of the casual fan in quite the same way. But 29 homers in just 62 games after a midseason trade to the D-backs in 2017? A Major League-leading .690 slugging percentage in 489 plate appearances? A barrels-per-plate-appearance rate second only to that of Aaron Judge? That stuff is bound to fire up the imagination of some general managers and owners, even when you factor in the health and defensive concerns.

Hot Stove Tracker

Because Martinez has an agent in Scott Boras who usually bides his time and sets a high asking price, it could be a while before his situation is settled. But we can certainly speculate where his power and earning power profile best. Here are 10 potential fits, broken into four tiers.

You've got to squint pretty hard

Phillies: Well, we love it when a "mystery team" materializes, don't we? And with Odubel Herrera's contract literally the only long-term financial commitment on the Phillies' books, they have the flexibility to be that team in this free-agent market. But it's not likely to happen with Martinez. The Phils have been eyeing up that 2018 free-agent market (read: Bryce Harper and Manny Machado) for quite a while.

Dodgers: For the sake of completeness, we should probably include the Dodgers in any conversation about a high-priced free-agent prize, but as evidenced with the way the Stanton negotiations went down, the Andrew Friedman regime has actually been careful about the management of the long-term payroll picture, and there's not a clearly defined need in the corner outfield.

Indians: The Tribe is in win-now mode and has a need for a right-handed power bat that can man a corner outfield spot. A year ago, nobody really expected the Indians to reel in Edwin Encarnacion, but market conditions brought him down to a price tag they found palatable. Maybe that'll happen again here. (Spoiler: It's probably not going to happen again here.)

Orioles: The Stanton trade could compel the O's to blow it up and move Machado and Zach Britton. But if they do decide to try to stay in the hunt in the American League East in 2018, not only does Martinez fit their general power-prone profile, but he also gets on base (a .375 OBP the past two years) -- an asset the Orioles' lineup sorely needs. Anyway, if Baltimore was to spend big, it would likely be on pitching.

Video: Burkhardt on where he thinks Martinez should sign

Not expected but not totally inconceivable

Rockies: The Rox have some financial wiggle room and the free agencies of longtime right fielder Carlos Gonzalez and first baseman Mark Reynolds means they can be flexible in how they approach their roster construction this offseason. And any scenario that ties a power hitter of the ilk of Martinez to Coors Field is an enticing one. But Colorado has a lot of innings to fill in its bullpen and is simply more likely to look for more cost-effective solutions on the position player side of things.

Blue Jays: There is a hole in right field created by Jose Bautista's free-agent departure (and you could say Bautista's supbar production in 2017 made for a hole in the first place). The Blue Jays are trying to do right by a supportive fan base by not blowing up one of the oldest rosters in the big leagues, and replacing Encarnacion's lost power and production has proven difficult. So hey, maybe. But while this organization is not going the full-rebuild route, it is generally trying to steer toward a younger and more flexible look in the not-too-distant future.

Now we're getting somewhere

D-backs: No mystery here. Obviously, the D-backs love them some Martinez. And how could you not after he hit a homer every eight trips to the plate for them? The Zack Greinke contract, in particular, makes this a bit of a square peg/round hole situation at the present price tag, but Arizona is not out, by any means. There were rumblings in the lobby Monday that the D-backs could extend themselves more than they've let on publicly. Don't rule out a reunion here.

Video: D-backs' chances of re-signing J.D. Martinez

J.D. (Just Do It)

The three teams feeling the Stanton ripple effects double as the three teams that make the most sense for Martinez.

Giants: Though they have paid the luxury tax three straight years, the Giants went hard after Stanton -- evidence that they are earnest in their attempt to recover from their rough finish in 2017. But there were several factors that made Stanton more desirable for them than Martinez. Stanton is younger and would have brought significantly greater defensive value (10 defensive runs saved above average last year vs. Martinez's one), which is an extremely important consideration for a club in dire need of improving defensively in the outfield. Furthermore, Stanton's prominent pull-side power profiled better for the pitchers' haven known as AT&T Park than Martinez's more opposite-field-heavy approach. But is San Francisco actively trying to get significantly better? Yes. Would Martinez make the Giants significantly better? Yes.

Red Sox: When the Yankees make a major move, the Red Sox often follow with a major move (and vice versa). That's how the world works, folks. Team president Dave Dombrowski has already made it clear that the luxury tax threshold will not guide Boston's decision-making process this offseason, which is a great start in the Martinez market. However, it is highly unlikely that the Red Sox will sign both Martinez and Eric Hosmer, who is Boras' other prized position-player client in this market. And though Boston had a screaming need for power in 2017 and Hosmer wouldn't bring nearly as much of that commodity as Martinez would, the left-handed-hitting Hosmer's opposite-field approach and his currently unfilled position at first base are better fits. Again, though, the Red Sox are motivated to bring in an impact bat, all the more now that their fiercest rivals have made such a major move.

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

Cardinals: A hugely important offseason in St. Louis got off to a hugely frustrating start with Stanton's refusal to accept a trade to the Cards. So the pressing need for a middle-of-the-order masher remains. While Martinez might ultimately profile best with an AL club that will have the DH spot available to him eventually, the desperation to catch up to the Cubs, the long-term payroll picture that, thanks to one of the more passionate fan bases in the game, has the room to take on a major contract like the one Martinez will command make this as good a fit as any. The X-factor is the trade market, where the Cardinals do have depth to deal for a run-producing bat (things didn't work out with Stanton, but the Cards still have their eye on the rest of the Marlins outfield in Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna).

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.

J.D. Martinez