Now that free agents are officially able to negotiate with any team, Hot Stove season is in full swing. While some teams are still nailing down their coaching staffs and front offices, others are already in hot pursuit of the most coveted free agents. It’s no secret the Yankees are among those teams on the early trail, coveting free agent Cliff Lee. That sweepstakes could take weeks or months to play out, but here’s a look at some of the whispers around the league on Monday.
- MLB announced on Monday that the A’s officially won the bidding on Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. The Athletics have 30 days to come to a deal with the 29-year-old pitcher and if everything ends up working out, Oakland could have landed themselves a strong addition to their young staff.
- All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman would like to pitch in 2011 if he can find a closer spot, according to a Tweet from SI.com’s Jon Heyman. Hoffman reached 600 saves last season while with the Brewers, but only closed sporadically down the stretch. Finding a team willing to take a chance that Hoffman still has something in the tank could be tough as there are a number of potential closers fighting for jobs next season, including J.J. Putz, Brian Fuentes, Kerry Wood, Kevin Gregg, Jon Rauch, and Koji Uehara.
- Veteran southpaw Jarrod Washburn didn’t pitch last season but isn’t completely ready to announce his retirement. Washburn told Fox Sports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi recently that he’s undecided on 2011, mentioning that he’s been approached by some interested teams.
- Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal believes the Reds will sign Bronson Arroyo to a two-year extension later this week. Arroyo’s option for the coming season was picked up, so the new deal could extend through 2013. Rosenthal speculated that Arroyo’s deal could be the first of several longer-term deals this winter in Cincy, leaving the door open for possible extensions for first baseman Joey Votto, right fielder Jay Bruce and right-hander Edinson Volquez.
- Rosenthal also suggested on Monday that the Cubs could be a potential landing spot for Adam Dunn, who doesn’t reportedly want to serve as just a DH in the American League. The Cubs have a bundle set to come off the books after 2011 and Rosenthal suggests a back-loaded deal could create a fit between Dunn and Chicago.
- As expected, the Red Sox have reportedly expressed interest in free agent outfielder Jayson Werth. ESPNBoston.com reported on Monday that the Sox have reached out to Werth’s agent, Scott Boras. Boras, however, did not immediately return a call to MLB.com.
Stay tuned for more updates on MLB.com!
— Bailey Stephens