Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesThe Marlins reportedly will look to deal other top players if Giancarlo Stanton refuses to waive his no-trade clause.

The Miami Marlins may be looking to gain some leverage in an attempt to deal Giancarlo Stanton.

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports the Marlins informed Stanton in October that they would look to trade off other top players to reduce payroll if he would not waive his no-trade rights and accept a deal elsewhere.

The 28-year-old Stanton holds a full no-trade clause in his contract, which will pay him $295 million over the next 10 years with an opt-out after the 2020 season.

Spencer adds the Marlins did not make an ultimatum to Stanton, who does not wish to be part of a rebuild, but it was a way to inform the National League’s Most Valuable Player that they have options.

If the Marlins went that route, outfielders Christian Yelich, who will make $7 million next season, and Marcell Ozuna, who could pull in over $10 million via arbitration, would attract plenty of attention. Infielders Dee Gordon, Martin Prado and Justin Bour and pitcher Edinson Volquez, among others, also could be shopped for financial relief.

The Cardinals and Giants are prominent suitors for Stanton, says ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, while the Dodgers may be the preferred landing spot for the Southern California native.

-- Doug Mittler

Rumor Central: Evan Gattis a non-tender candidate?

November, 29, 2017
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Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesThe price tag of Evan Gattis may be getting too high for the World Series champion Astros.

Evan Gattis might be in his final days as a member of the Houston Astros.

With his price tag escalating, the Astros could look to trade the veteran catcher or non-tender him by Friday’s deadline, suggests Brian McTaggert of MLB.com.

Gattis, who is eligible for arbitration again this winter, posted a solid .263/.311/.457 slash line with 12 homers in 84 games and is due for a raise from the $5.2 million he made in 2017.

The World Series champion Astros also have been linked to free agent Jonathan Lucroy, who could split time behind the plate with Brian McCann. While Gattis could still be an option as a designated hitter, his price tag might be too high for what appears to be a limited role.

MLB Trade Rumors lists the 31-year-old Gattis as a non-tender candidate and projects he will make $6.6 million via arbitration.

Friday is the deadline for teams to inform arbitration-eligible players if they will be offered a contract. If teams decline, those players become free agents.

- Doug Mittler

Rumor Central: At least six teams in on Yu Darvish?

November, 28, 2017
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Yu DarvishGary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY SportsYu Darvish struck out a combined 209 batters for the Rangers and Dodgers last season.

With the winter meetings less than two weeks away, the market for free agent Yu Darvish might be taking shape.

Citing a source close to the pitcher, Jim Bowden of Sirius XM Radio reports six teams are legitimately "in" on Darvish and there are "another handful that are staying close."

Darvish split last season between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers, compiling a 3.86 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP with 209 strikeouts. The four-time All-Star was pounded in two World Series starts (21.60 ERA), but that is not expected to have a big impact on his market value.

ESPN's Keith Law lists Darvish No. 1 on his list of top 50 free agents.

Minnesota Twins general manager Thad Levine told MLB Network Radio last weekend that he has been in contact with Darvish's camp. The St. Louis Cardinals are among the other teams to be linked to the four-time All-Star.

-- Doug Mittler

Rumor Central: Mets considering Adam Lind in free agency?

November, 27, 2017
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Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon SportswireNew York is reportedly eyeing the veteran first baseman, who is coming off a productive season as a part-time player.

The New York Mets have reportedly zeroed in on a veteran target as they attempt to sort out their situation at first base.

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, New York is considering Adam Lind for the position.

The 34-year-old journeyman slashed .303/.362/.513 with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs in a part-time role (301 plate appearances) for the Washington Nationals last season.

The Mets are reportedly interested in Lind because they are not completely committed to left-handed prospect Dominic Smith at first base following his underwhelming performance in his first taste of the majors last season, per Mark Puma of the New York Post.

However, Lind is also a left-handed bat and owns a career .217 batting average and .263 on-base percentage against southpaws compared to his his .288 average and .348 on-base percentage against righties.

-- Nick Ostiller

Rumor Central: Braves shopping Matt Adams?

November, 27, 2017
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Rich von Biberstein/Icon SportswireAtlanta is reportedly looking to move the first baseman before Friday's arbitration deadline.

Last season, the Atlanta Braves acquired first baseman Matt Adams to fill in for the injured Freddie Freeman, who has since returned to full health and is entrenched as the team's starter at the position.

Atlanta reportedly now deems Adams expendable and has put him on the trade block.

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Braves are attempting to move Adams before Friday, which marks the deadline for teams to tender contract offers to their arbitration-eligible players.

Adams is somewhat of an odd man out with Freeman healthy, making the 29-year-old a non-tender candidate. Atlanta tried Adams at third base and in the outfield when Freeman returned late last season, but the experiment didn't provide much value (-5 Defensive Runs Saved in 129 career outfield innings).

Offensively, the big lefty slashed .274/.319/.522 with a career-high 20 home runs to go along with 65 RBIs. However, that slash line plummeted to .180/.206/.377 in his 63 plate appearances against southpaws, relegating him to a strict platoon player.

If the Braves decide to tender Adams prior to Friday's 8 p.m. ET deadline, the two sides will have about two months to work out a salary prior to February's arbitration hearings.

-- Nick Ostiller

Giancarlo StantonAmber Searls/USA TODAY SportsThere is reportedly a sense that the Marlins slugger could be traded before the Winter Meetings begin.

There has been plenty of speculation surrounding what the Miami Marlins plan to do with slugger Giancarlo Stanton this winter, and there is now a specific date involved in the negotiations.

According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, teams "have gotten the sense" that Stanton could be traded by Dec. 10, the beginning of the winter meetings. Crasnick also mentions an alternative scenario related to that date, which is that interested teams will have exhausted their patience and begun to pursue their other offseason plans by then.

Stanton, 28, holds a full no-trade clause in his contract, which will pay him $295 million over the next 10 years with an opt-out after the 2020 season. This means that Stanton, one of the biggest dominoes currently in play, can dictate his next destination.

The St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants remain in on Stanton, per Crasnick, while Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the reigning NL MVP's camp has given Miami a list of teams to which he’d accept a trade.

According to Morosi, Stanton's hometown Los Angeles Dodgers are among those teams, and there is a belief that they are his preferred landing spot. Another reason for the industry logjam as it pertains to free agency is Stanton's reluctance to approve other destinations until there is clarity with the Dodgers, per Morosi.

The eight-year veteran is coming off a season in which he slashed .281/.376/.631 with a career-high 59 home runs and 132 RBIs in 159 games. Since he debuted for the Marlins in 2010, Stanton has hit the fourth-most long balls in the majors during that time with 267.

-- Nick Ostiller

Rumor Central: Rangers eyeing Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb?

November, 27, 2017
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Lance LynnDilip Vishwanat/Getty ImagesThe Rangers are searching for pitching help and free-agent right-hander Lance Lynn is on their radar.

The Texas Rangers may not be done shopping for starting pitching after agreeing to a one-year deal with Doug Fister on Sunday.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports the Rangers have “sustained interest” in 30-year-old free-agent right-handers Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn. Both Cobb and Lynn would come at a higher cost than Fister, whose deal reportedly is worth $4 million and includes a team option for 2019.

Cobb posted a 12-10 record with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts for the Rays in 2017. Lynn was 11-8 with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP in a league-high 33 starts for the Cardinals.

The Rangers also are among the teams interested in free-agent right-hander Jake Arrieta, who will have an even higher price tag.

Adding pitching help is a priority for the Rangers, who traded away Yu Darvish over the summer and could lose Andrew Cashner to free agency.

-- Doug Mittler

Rumor Central: Rays shopping Jake Odorizzi, Alex Colome?

November, 27, 2017
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Alex ColomeAP Photo/Jim MoneCloser Alex Colome reportedly is among the arbitration-eligible Rays drawing interest on the trade market.

The Tampa Bay Rays are expected to be players on the offseason trade market, and the names of starter Jake Odorizzi and closer Alex Colome “have been active in early conversations,” reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

Trade talks are expected to accelerate this week in advance of Friday’s non-tender deadline in which teams must make a commitment to signing their arbitration-eligible players. The 27-year-old Odorizzi and the 28-year-old Colome are among a dozen Rays on that list, and Topkin lists them as “two of the most likely to go.”

The St. Louis Cardinals reportedly have reached out to the Rays about Colome, who led the majors with 47 saves last season.

The Minnesota Twins are believed to be interested both Odorizzi and Colome.

Odorizzi was 10-8 with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP in 28 starts last season.

-- Doug Mittler

Jordan ZimmermannLeon Halip/USA TODAY SportsJordan Zimmermann spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Nationals before joining the Tigers as a free agent prior to the 2016 season.

The Washington Nationals, in search of a back-end starter, have "some interest" in reuniting with Detroit Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, per Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

Zimmermann spent the first seven years of his career with the Nats before signing a five-year, $110 million free-agent deal with the Tigers ahead of the 2016 season. He went 70-50 with a 3.32 ERA in 178 starts for Washington, earning two All-Star berths. He also threw the first Nationals no-hitter against the Miami Marlins on the final day of the 2014 regular season.

The 31-year-old got off to a strong start in Detroit, earning American League Pitcher of the Month in April 2016. However, he's largely struggled to find consistency since then -- Zimmermann is 17-20 with a 5.60 ERA in 48 games (47 starts) with the Tigers -- partly because of a variety of injuries, including neck pain at the end of last season, for which he had to receive injections.

According to Cafardo, the rebuilding Tigers are hoping that Zimmermann's neck injections can "allow him to pitch as he once did for the Nationals and become a tradeable commodity again." Cafardo notes that it's likely Detroit would have to eat some of Zimmermann's contract, should he be dealt.

-- Alex Tekip

Jake Arrieta Jerry Lai/USA TODAY SportsJake Arrieta and Yu Darvish are widely considered as the top pitchers available on the free-agent market.

The Toronto Blue Jays, Colorado Rockies and Texas Rangers have each shown an interest in Jake Arrieta, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Those three clubs join the Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers as teams that have checked in on the free-agent right-hander.

The 31-year-old Arrieta was 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 30 starts for the Chicago Cubs last season, recording 163 strikeouts over 168S innings.

Arrieta ranks No. 4 among Keith Law's top 50 free agents this offseason, the second-highest pitcher on the list behind Yu Darvish.

A Scott Boras client and the 2015 Cy Young winner, Arrieta made approximately $15.6 million with the Cubs in 2017.

-- Alex Tekip

Rumor Central: Mariners, Jon Jay discussing deal?

November, 22, 2017
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Jeff Curry/USA TODAY SportsThere is reportedly "some momentum" in talks between Seattle and the veteran outfielder.

The Seattle Mariners have reportedly zeroed in on a target to fill the outfield void vacated by Jarrod Dyson, who recently became a free agent.

According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, "there's some momentum" toward an agreement between Seattle and veteran outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, slashed 296/.374/.375 across 433 plate appearances for the Chicago Cubs last season while demonstrating the ability to play all three outfield spots. Known more for his defense than his power (just two home runs in 2017), Jay made $8 million while on a one-year contract with Chicago.

The Mariners already have Ben Gamel, Guillermo Heredia and Mitch Haniger in the outfield, so Jay would likely serve as a part-time rover -- similar to his role with the Cubs.

The former second-round pick in 2006 has also played for the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres throughout his eight-year career in the majors.

-- Nick Ostiller

Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesMinnesota has reportedly put out feelers regarding a pair of starters and several relievers, including Gerrit Cole of the Pirates.

The Minnesota Twins won 28 more games in 2017 than they did the previous season and are eyeing several pitchers this winter as they attempt to continue the upward trend.

According to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Twins have talked with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays about their respective right-handers Gerrit Cole and Jake Odorizzi.

Berardino also reports that Minnesota has shown interest in reliever Justin Wilson of the Chicago Cubs, while Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 in Minneapolis hears that Brad Hand of the San Diego Padres and Alex Colome of the Rays are each garnering attention from the Twins, too.

As for the starters, Cole finished 12-12 with a 196/55 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 203 innings (33 starts) in 2017. The 27-year-old owns a 3.50 ERA for his five-year career and is under team control through 2019 after making $3.75 million last season. He was an All-Star in 2015.

Odorizzi, 27, finished 2017 with a 10-8 record to go along with 4.14 ERA and 127/61 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 143 1/3 innings (28 starts). He is 40-38 lifetime with a 3.83 ERA during his six year career and is also under team control through 2019 after earning a $4.1 million salary last season.

Minnesota's bullpen finished among the bottom third of baseball in ERA and opponent batting average in 2017, which is likely why the Twins have zeroed in on the relief targets.

Wilson struggled down the stretch with the Cubs after they acquired him at the trade deadline and he was left off Chicago's NLCS roster. Berardino notes that Minnesota made a run at the 30-year-old southpaw two years ago, but that was before the Twins' current front office assumed leadership. Wilson is entering his final season of arbitration and is reportedly expected to command a salary of around $4.3 million.

Hand is coming off a career year in which he registered a 2.16 ERA and struck out 104 batters in 79 1/3 innings. The 27-year-old lefty earned his first All-Star selection in 2017. Colome, a 2016 All-Star, converted 47 of his 53 save chances en route to a 3.24 ERA across 66 2/3 innings last season for Tampa Bay. The 28-year-old right-hander is entering his first year of arbitration.

Minnesota earned the American League's second wild-card spot in 2017, the Twins' first postseason appearance in seven years.

-- Nick Ostiller

Hisashi IwakumaAP Photo/Ted S. WarrenVeteran right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma was limited to six starts last season due to a shoulder problem.

The Seattle Mariners apparently are interested in keeping Hisashi Iwakuma around as he recovers from shoulder surgery.

Iwakuma on Monday told reporters in his native Japan, including the Japan Times, that he is considering an offer he has received from the Mariners. “Hopefully I will be able to make a positive announcement soon,” said the 36-year-old Iwakuma.

Iwakuma made $14 million last season and became a free agent after the Mariners declined his contract option for 2018.

Iwakuma was a key member of the Mariners’ rotation from 2012-16, compiling a 63-37 record with a 3.39 ERA. He went 2-0 with a 4.35 ERA in six starts this year before being sidelined with a shoulder injury that required surgery in September.

MLB.com’s Greg Johns says Iwakuma is not expected to throw again until spring training, so any deal with the Mariners will likely be a minor league one or a major-league contract with minimal financial commitment up front.

- Doug Mittler

Rumor Central: Blue Jays in the mix for J.D. Martinez?

November, 21, 2017
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Joe Mahoney/Getty ImagesJ.D. Martinez hit 45 homers in just 119 games last season in Detroit and Arizona.

The Toronto Blue Jays could emerge as "a dark horse candidate" for free-agent outfielder J.D. Martinez, suggests Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

The Blue Jays are not expected to bring back outfielder Jose Bautista and have yet to effectively replace the offensive production lost when designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion signed with the Indians last winter.

Martinez would solve that problem, but ESPN's Jerry Crasnick recently reported that agent Scott Boras is seeking a deal in the $200 million range, which could put the 30-year-old outfielder out of the Blue Jays' price range.

The Blue Jays also are believed to be interested in free-agent outfielder Jay Bruce, who would come at a less expensive price tag than Martinez.

Martinez slashed .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBIs for the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017. He was red-hot following the trade to Arizona, batting .302 with 29 homers, 65 RBIs and a 1.107 OPS in 62 games.

The Diamondbacks are expected to make an effort to retain Martinez, who also has been linked to, among others, the Giants and Cardinals.

-- Doug Mittler

Rumor Central: Mets, Tigers have discussed Ian Kinsler?

November, 20, 2017
Nov 20
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KinslerAP Photo/Carlos OsorioIan Kinsler has a .275/.328/.436 slash line over four seasons with the Detroit Tigers.

The New York Mets and Detroit Tigers have had "preliminary discussions" regarding a trade that would send second baseman Ian Kinsler to Queens, sources tell MLB.com's Jon Morosi.

Kinsler slashed .236/.313/.412 with 22 home runs, 52 RBIs and a team-high 14 stolen bases for Detroit last season, posting a career low in batting average. He was named an American League Gold Glove Award finalist, one year after winning the honor for the first time in his career.

The 35-year-old is considered one of the more valuable chips -- if not the most valuable -- for the rebuilding Tigers this winter, but does have a partial no-trade clause. He is drawing interest from multiple clubs, per Morosi, with the Los Angeles Angels rumored to be among them. Some of the teams interested in Kinsler would want the career-long second baseman to move to third base.

Kinsler's $11 million option for 2018 vested automatically because he reached 600 plate appearances in 2017. The four-time All-Star is slated to become a free agent at the end of next season.

-- Alex Tekip

 

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