Rumor roundup: Zobrist gaining suitors
Mets join clubs interested in free-agent second baseman
The first high-profile free agent reportedly came off the board on Sunday with the Tigers agreeing with Jordan Zimmermann to a five-year deal worth approximately $110 million, according to multiple reports.
The Tigers haven't confirmed the deal, but it will likely go down as the first big free-agent signing of the offseason. It figures to be just the beginning of a frenzied offseason this winter, with a number of other teams also currently pursuing potential upgrades.
Here's a look at some of the top rumors floating around the Hot Stove as of Sunday night:
Mets setting sights on Zobrist
Second baseman Ben Zobrist is reportedly the Mets' "No. 1 target," according to a tweet from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Zobrist is believed to be seeking a four-year deal after helping guide the Royals to a World Series title this past season.
Zobrist, 34, spent his first nine seasons with the Rays before splitting time last year between the A's and Royals. He hit a combined .276/.359/.450 with 13 homers and 36 doubles during the 2015 regular season, before hitting .303/.365/.515 with two homers in 16 postseason games. Though the Mets are believed to be highly interested in adding Zobrist to replace free agent Daniel Murphy, they are far from the only team in pursuit. The Nationals, Braves and Giants are all among the teams that have already expressed interest in Zobrist this offseason.
Blue Jays shifting focus toward 'pen
After signing starter J.A. Happ to a three-year deal, the Blue Jays are now believed to be seeking bullpen help. More specifically, the club is said to be looking for "relievers with closing experience," according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. He adds that Ryan Madson is one of the names near the top of their list.
Madson, 35, emerged as one of the game's top closers in 2011, when he secured 32 saves alongside a 2.37 ERA over 62 appearances with the Phillies. From there, however, he missed the next three seasons entirely due to lingering arm issues after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012. His long road to recovery paid off last season, when he racked up a 2.13 ERA over 68 appearances with the World Series champion Royals, re-establishing himself as a shutdown reliever in the process.
Span a potential fit for O's?
The Orioles are believed to have "some level of interest" in Denard Span, according to a report by MASN. Though the report notes that it's unclear just how interested the O's are, Span could fill a void in right field. With Adam Jones locked in as Baltimore's center fielder, Span would slide over to right field, where he has played only 124 times in 950 career games -- and none since 2009 with the Twins.
That said, Span could solve Baltimore's need for a leadoff hitter. Though he was limited to just 61 games in an injury-ravaged 2015 campaign, Span still managed to hit .301/.365/.431 and steal 11 bases -- without being caught a single time, no less. The market for Span should come more into focus over the next couple of weeks, though the Mets and Royals have also been mentioned as potential suitors.