Nick Markakis is looking at other options after talks between the outfielder and the Orioles appear to have stalled, reports Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun.
Markakis’ agent is planning to meet with several clubs at this week’s General Manager meetings but told Connolly the O’s were not one of his client’s suitors at this time.
Per Connolly, Baltimore and Markakis were discussing a four-year contract worth about $10-12 million per year.
Markakis, 31, has spent his entire nine-year career in Baltimore. He’s a .290/.358/.435 career hitter with 141 home runs, 61 stole bases and is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner who, as his agent notes, should draw plenty of interest from multiple teams.
— Cash Kruth
File this under the obvious category, but Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweets that shortstop Hanley Ramirez has rejected the Dodgers’ qualifying offer.
Ramirez is considered one of the top bats on the free-agent market and likely will receive the biggest contract of all the free agent position players.
– Cash Kruth
The Mariners are focused on adding a bat to their lineup to help protect Robinson Cano, and Justin Upton could be a possibility, writes CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.
While Victor Martinez and Hanley Ramirez are Seattle’s top two targets, Upton is an intriguing possibility.
Upton has been said to be available in a a trade, as well as fellow Braves outfielder Jason Heyward — both of whom will be free agents following the 2015 season.
Upton, according to Heyman’ sources, has dropped the Mariners from his no-trade list.
A power bat the caliber of Upton’s would fit perfectly in the Mariners’ outfield, which consisted of — from left to right — Dustin Ackley, Austin Jackson and Michael Saunders last season.
— Cash Kruth
Left-hander Francisco Liriano and his agent are still mulling the Pirates’ qualifying offer, tweets Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
The deadline to accept or decline is 5 p.m ET.
Liriano, 31, was 7-10 with a 3.38 ERA in 29 starts for the Pirates last year.
- Cash Kruth
The list of suiters for Victor Martinez is growing, as CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports the Blue Jays are among the teams interested in the designated hitter.
Martinez hit .335 with 32 home runs with 103 RBIs this season with a league-leading .409 on-base percentage and league-leading .974 OPS.
The Tigers, Blue Jays and Mariners are interested, Heyman writes, while other offseason reports also have the White Sox interested in the 35-year-old.
Martinez is expected to seek a four-year deal.
- Cash Kruth
Right-hander Ervin Santana has rejected the Braves’ qualifying offer, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The move was expected after Santana went 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA in 31 starts for the Braves this season. The right-hander, who turns 31 in December, is looking for a multiyear deal after also receiving a qualifying offer last year.
He is 119-100 with a 4.17 ERA in 299 career games (296 starts) with the Angels, Royals and Braves.
- Cash Kruth
The Mets are more likely to fill their outfield corners via trade than free-agent signing, Joel Sherman of The New York Post writes.
The two biggest free-agent outfielders are Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera. Not only do both have a past that includes performance-enchancing drugs but, as Sherman writes, the Mets aren’t sure Cruz has the defensive ability to handle Citi Field’s large outfield.
Another top outfielder, Cuban Yasmany Tomas, has generated a lot of buzz. But one club official told Sherman that Mets’ scouts “did not love him” enough to offer the $100 million or more it will take to land him.
So, what are the Mets looking at as far as outfielders go?
The top of the list has to include the Dodgers trio of Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier — who are all available, as we noted here Sunday. According to Sherman, a person who has spoken to the Dodgers said the club would prefer to move Ethier and Crawford over Kemp.
The Braves also have been rumored to listen on Justin Upton or Jason Hayward but, as Sherman notes, the chances of Atlanta moving them within the National League East are low.
- Cash Kruth
The Dodgers are apparently getting serious about moving an outfielder.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted Sunday the club is “aggressively” looking to move Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier — but Yasiel Puig is not on the table.
The club is willing to eat payroll in order to trade one of the trio, Rosenthal tweeted. According to Cots, Kemp has five years and approximately $108 million remaining on his deal, while Crawford is due about $65 million over the next three years and Ethier is due $53.5 million through 2017 with a $2.5 million club option for 2018.
Although Kemp is drawing interest after his huge second half (.309/.365/.606), Rosenthal notes that some teams may prefer the lefty-hitting Crawford or Ethier.
On top of this quartet, Joc Pederson — the Dodgers’ No. 3 overall prospect — also appears Major League ready.
- Cash Kruth
Long-time scout Jeff Schugel has joined the Cincinnati Reds as a special assistant to general manager Walt Jocketty, according to sources.
Schugel worked with Jocketty in 1994 when Jocketty was an assistant general manager of the Colorado Rockies, and Schugel was a major league scout. Jocketty left after that season to become general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, Jocketty assumed the general manager’s role with the Reds in 2008.
Schugel, 56, was an 18th round draft choice of the Twins in 1983, and played three seasons in the Twins minor-league system before getting into scouting.
He has worked as a talent evaluator with the Twins, Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the last two years the Atlanta Braves.
Bill Geivett, who resigned a front office position with the Rockies following an organizational shakeup, is in line to become a cross-checker with the Astros, according to sources close to the situation. Geivett was a finalist for the Astros general manager job when the team hired Jeff Luhnow in December of 2011.
Geivett joined the Rockies in 2000, and most recently was the Senior Vice President of Major League Operations. In that role Geivett moved his office full-time into the clubhouse, and traveled with the team.
When Dan O’Dowd turned down a contract extension to remain as general manager of the Rockies, and Jeff Bridich was promoted to replace O’Dowd, Geivett resigned.
He previously scouted with the Yankees, and worked in the front offices of the Montreal Expos, Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers.