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.
Nothing quite lived up to the Fourth of July blockbuster that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A’s, but there was a minor trade Saturday.
The Angels acquired left-hander Joe Thatcher from the D-backs for outfielder Tony Campana. In addition, the Angles designated left-hander Rich Hill for assignment.
Thoughts on the Samardzija/Hammel deal:
- Jon Heyman thinks the Cubs won the deal.
- Mike Petriello of Fangraghs thinks it’s a win/win.
- The Yankees were involved, obviously.
- Addison Russell might’ve been able to net the A’s David Price.
- This means the A’s might extend Jed Lowrie.
- You’re not the only one excited about a left side of Kris Bryant and Addison Russell.
A handful of players and clubs avoided arbitration on Saturday, while the Dodgers added a pitcher on the same day their pitchers and catchers reported to Camelback Ranch in Arizona.
Los Angeles agreed to a one-year, $1.5-million contract, plus incentives, with left-hander Paul Maholm.
The official announcement came eight hours after Maholm appeared in the Dodgers clubhouse in Spring Training.
Other news and notes from Saturday:
- Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka is expected to meet with the media Tuesday in New York.
- The Rays held a youth clinic on Saturday.
- The Indians won their arbitration case with reliever Vinnie Pestano. He’ll make make $975,000 this season.
- The A’s are confident with how they’re currently constructed. They also hope to avoid arbitration with outfielder Josh Reddick.
- Mets right-hander Matt Harvey, who had surgery last October, hopes to begin throwing this month.
- The Cubs and right-hander Jeff Samardzija agreed to a one-year, $5.345-million deal, avoiding arbitration.
- Padres starter Andrew Cashner will make $2.4 million this season after winning his arbitration case.
- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly discussed an array of topics, including outfielder Matt Kemp, on the first day of Spring Training.
- Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley feels like he has a new arm.
- Arizona players say they’re happy with the right-hander Bronson Arroyo, within this notebook.
- Padres right-hander Josh Johnson says he received some positive feedback from a college coach, within this notebook.
- The D-backs donated $700,000 to local youth and Little League ballplayers.
- Cash Kruth