The Phillies could use another option at shortstop now that Jimmy Rollins has been traded to the Dodgers.
Asdrubal Cabrera appears to be a possibility for the Phillies, who would need to clear some payroll to sign the free agent, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.
Cabrera, 29, can play both shortstop and second base. He split last season between the Indians and Nationals, hitting a combined .307 with 14 home runs, 31 doubles and four triples. He was an All-Star in 2011-12 with Cleveland.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Friday that Freddy Galvis will have the first opportunity to replace Rollins in 2015. However, Amaro did not rule out the possibility of adding another option to the mix at short.
A number of teams have shown interest in Cabrera this offseason, including the A’s, Cardinals, Giants, Mets and Twins, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. It appears the Phillies are now in that group of potential suitors, too.
The Orioles lost a crucial pair of outfielders — Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis — this offseason thanks to free agency. Now they may be looking toward a veteran replacement to help make up for the loss.
Ichiro Suzki is the latest outfielder on the Orioles radar, according to a report from Jon Heyman of CBSsports.com. Suzuki turned 41 in October and needs 156 more hits to reach 3,000 during his career in Major League Baseball.
The Yankees planned on using Suzuki in a platoon role this past season, but injuries and some ineffectiveness in their outfield turned him into an everyday player. He compiled a slash line of .284/.324/.340 in 143 games in New York last season, respectable numbers along with 102 hits. So it seems almost certain that if Suzuki were to surpass 3,000, he will need to play at least two more seasons.
He was said to have drawn some mild interest during the Winter Meetings but nothing serious ever materialized.
The Orioles are trying to maintain their place atop the American League East after running away with it in 2014, however, the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Yankees have all made major additions during free agency. Baltimore is also reportedly considering free agents Nori Aoki and Colby Rasmus to help fill their vacancies in the outfield.
— Jamal Collier
The Giants are reportedly close to acquiring infielder Casey McGehee from the Miami Marlins.
Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel tweeted Friday evening that the clubs are nearing a deal that would send McGehee to San Francisco in exchange for minor league pitching.
Though details on which players the Giants would send to Miami are not yet known, a source told MLB.com that the Marlins would receive two lower-level Minor League pitchers. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal also reported that if the trade does happen, right-hander Hunter Strickland would not be included.
The defending champion Giants have been in need of a replacement for Pablo Sandoval since the third baseman signed with the Red Sox last month. The Marlins, meanwhile, have a crowded infield with the additions of Martin Prado, Dee Gordon and Michael Morse this offseason. It appears McGehee may be the odd man out.
The 32-year-old veteran hit .287/.355/.357 with 76 RBIs and four homers in his first season with the Marlins in 2014.
— Chad Thornburg
David Ross and Jon Lester may be together again.
The Cubs have reportedly signed Ross to a two-year, $5 million contract, according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal.
In 13 seasons, Ross has a .233 career batting average. What’s key is that in 29 games over two seasons catching Lester with Boston, the lefty pitcher has a 2.77 ERA with 192 strikeouts over 195 innings.
And, in case you forgot, the Cubs just signed Lester to a six-year, $155 million contract.
Ross caught five of Lester’s first seven starts this past season, and the lefty posted a 2.19 ERA with 43 strikeouts and had walked five.
“When you mix his stuff with my brains, it’s awesome,” Ross said at the time.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs claimed catcher Ryan Lavarnway off waivers from the Dodgers and outfielder Shane Peterson off waivers from the Athletics. To make room on the 40-man roster, pitcher Donn Roach and infielder Logan Watkins were designated for assignment.
Lavarnway, 27, has spent the last seven seasons in the Red Sox organization, batting .299 in 25 games on the 2013 World Championship team. He was claimed off waivers by the Dodgers on Dec. 5 but designated for assignment on Dec. 10. He missed more than two months last season with a left wrist strain and spent most of the year with Triple-A Pawtucket, batting .283 with three homers, 20 RBIs and a .389 on-base percentage in 62 games.
Theo Epstein knows him well. Lavarnway was a sixth-round pick out of Yale in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft by the Red Sox.
Peterson, 26, batted .308 with 40 doubles, 11 homers and 90 RBIs with Triple-A Sacramento last season, and earned Pacific Coast League midseason and postseason All Star honors. A left-handed hitter, he posted a .381 on-base percentage and a .460 slugging percentage. Peterson led the league in hits and doubles and ranked second with 101 runs scored.
– Carrie Muskat
According to reports, the Cubs have claimed first baseman/outfielder Shane Peterson from the Athletics. Peterson, 26, a left-handed hitter, has played in two big league games in 2013. In seven Minor League seasons, Peterson has a .284 batting average, including .308 last year at Triple-A Sacramento where he hit 11 home runs, 40 doubles and drove in 90 runs. The Cubs have not confirmed.
– Carrie Muskat
The Marlins introduced three of their newest acquisitions on Friday, welcoming Michael Morse, Dee Gordon and Mat Latos to Marlins Park, and it appears they’re not done reshaping their roster.
According to the YES Network, the Yankees are “on the verge” of trading Prado to the Marlins in exchange for right-hander Nathan Eovaldi. According to the Miami Herald, the deal will actually send Eovaldi and Garrett Jones to New York in exchange for Prado and right-hander David Phelps.
The Yankees will also receive Marlins pitching prospect Domingo German, according to the New York Post.
In Eovaldi, the Yankees would gain a young, hard-throwing starter to bolster the back of their rotation. The right-hander posted a 3.39 ERA in 2013. That figure jumped to 4.37 last season, but Eovaldi still managed to throw 199 2/3 innings for the Marlins. Eovaldi will be 25 years old next season, and he’s not eligible for free agency until 2018.
In return, Miami would receive a versatile veteran infielder in Prado. The 31-year-old likely will play third for the Marlins, who have added Morse at first and Gordon at second while returning Adeiny Hechavarria at shortstop and Casey McGehee at third.
Prado hit .282/.321/.412 last year with the D-backs and Yankees and was presumed to be New York’s starting second baseman heading into next season. That job could instead fall to Jose Pirela or prospect Rob Refsnyder.
Jones, a lefty hitter, put together a .246/.309/.411 batting line with 15 homers last year. He was expected to fill in at first base and right field for the Marlins and could do the same for the Yankees, who have injury concerns at those positions with Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran.
Rounding out the deal, Phelps can pitch out of the rotation or bullpen as he did for the Yankees the last three years. The right-hander went 5-5 with a 4.38 ERA in 113 innings over 32 appearances (17 starts).
German, 22, went 9-3 with a 2.48 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 123 1/3 innings over 25 starts for Class A Greensboro last year.
The deal had been rumored since the Winter Meetings, but it became official Friday morning: The Phillies have traded shortstop Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers in exchange for left-hander Tom Windle and right-hander Zach Eflin.
The Phillies also included cash considerations in the deal, offsetting some of Rollins’ $11 million salary.
Rollins, 36, was the longest-tenured athlete in Philadelphia. He made his Major League debut with the Phillies on Sept. 17, 2000. Last year, he hit .243/.323/.394 with 17 homers, 55 RBIs and 28 stolen bases while leading all big-league shortstops with a .988 fielding percentage.
Rollins departs as the Phillies’ all-time leader in hits (2,306) and doubles (479) while ranking second in games played (2,090), extra-base hits (806), steals (453) and total base (3,655).
“Jimmy is both an iconic player and person whom I have had the great joy of watching grow up in this game and this city,” Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. “His contributions to the franchise and to Philadelphia are unparalleled and I wish him the best in Los Angeles. This transaction is one that I believe benefits both Jimmy and the Phillies.”
The Dodgers, meanwhile, parted with two pitching prospects as the Phillies continue their rebuilding process.
Eflin went 10-7 with a 3.80 ERA in 24 starts last year for Class A Lake Elsinore. He led the Midwest League with a 2.73 ERA in 2013, his first full professional season. Eflin was drafted 33rd overall by the Padres in the 2012 Draft.
Windle, 22, went 12-8 with a 4.26 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) for Class A Rancho Cucamonga last year.
“We are very happy to add two top-tier starting pitching prospects who we believe will impact our major league club in the near future,” Amaro said. “This deal is clearly geared to continue the process of building for perennial future success.”
The Padres keep on wheeling and dealing. According to the latest report from Jeff Passan of Yahoo!, San Diego will send catcher Ryan Hanigan, acquired from Tampa Bay in the Wil Myers trade, to Boston in exchange for third baseman Will Middlebrooks.
CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported another Padres move later Friday morning, tweeting that the Padres are on the verge of signing catcher David Ross.
The trade fills a need for both sides. The Red Sox were in need of a backup catcher, and Hanigan is a veteran backstop working on an affordable contract.
The Padres, meanwhile, needed help on the left side of their infield — they were projected to enter the season with Yangervis Solarte starting at third — and Middlebrooks could add even more right-handed power to their lineup.
Middlebrooks, 26, is coming off back-to-back disappointing seasons but he showed promise in 2012. As a rookie, Middlebrooks hit .288/.325/.509 with 15 homers in 75 games. In 157 games over the last two years, he’s hit just .213/.265/.364 with 19 homers and 168 strikeouts in 608 plate appearances.
Hanigan has battled injuries each of the past two years. He played in only 84 games for the Rays last year and 75 for the Reds in 2013. Last season, he hit just .218/.318/.324. He has consistently posted solid on-base percentages, with a .370 OBP from 2008-12 in Cincinnati.
Hanigan is set to make $3.5 million next year and $3.7 million in 2016 with a $3.75 million option for ’17 as part of a contract extension negotiated following his trade to the Rays last offseason. With Hanigan on the move, the Padres can start Derek Norris at catcher with Ross as the backup.
Ross, who will be 38 next year, hit just .184/.260/.368 in 50 games last season. He is generally well-regarded for his game-calling and his work defensively, making him a nice complement to the more offensive-minded Norris.
Middlebrooks, meanwhile, is arbitration-eligible in 2016 and can’t become a free agent until 2019. He was blocked in Boston by the recent signing of Pablo Sandoval.
Amid a busy offseason full of major trades and transactions, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s name hasn’t come up too much. That changed Friday morning, when CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported that the Mets and Rockies have been “quietly discussing” a potential blockbuster involving the All-Star shortstop.
Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard would be the centerpiece of the Rockies’ return in such a deal, according to the report, but the trade would have to involve a package of young players to pry Tulowitzki away from Colorado.
It seems unlikely at this point that a deal will go down. FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal cited a source saying there’s a “5 to 10 percent chance” a trade reaches the finish line.
The framework of such a deal would make sense for both sides. The Rockies could begin to rebuild by acquiring a high-end young pitcher — Syndergaard is ranked No. 10 on MLB.com’s list of top prospects — and the Mets certainly have the pitching depth to part with a player like Syndergaard while still bringing back Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and National League Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom.
And the Mets could use a shortstop, as they are currently slated to open the season with Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada. Tulowitzki would be a big-name, long-term solution at the position. Tulo is a career .299/.373/.517 hitter and a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, and he got off to an incredible start last season before hitting the disabled list.
And therein lies one of the biggest concerns for any team looking into acquiring Tulowitzki. He’s coming off hip surgery, and he’s averaged 88 games over the past three seasons. When healthy, Tulowitzki is one of the best players in the Majors. But has he been healthy often enough for a team to part with one of its top young assets, like Syndergaard?
Another obstacle standing in the way of a deal involving Tulowitzki is his salary, as he’s owed $118 million over the next six years. It’s not an unreasonable sum for a player of his caliber, if he’s healthy enough to play, but it’s a factor. Then again, the Dodgers and Padres just provided a potential blueprint for how to deal a well-paid veteran in the Matt Kemp trade.
The deal appears unlikely, and there are a lot of hurdles that would have to be cleared for it to happen. But it is still not entirely out of the question, it seems.