Results tagged ‘ Giants ’

Giants join in on Hamels pursuit

All three teams that came up short in their pursuit of Jon Lester are now considering a trade for Cole Hamels, with ESPN’s Jayson Stark reporting that the Giants have also joined the discussions. The Red Sox and Dodgers had already expressed interest in Hamels even before Lester decided to sign with the Cubs.

This is the main reason why the Phillies waited for Lester to sign with a team before committing to any potential deal involving Hamels. They now have three potential contenders all interested in Hamels — an ideal situation for ultimately bringing back the best possible return.

As with much of the starting pitching market, talks figure to develop quickly with Lester now off the board. That said, the Phillies have no timetable in place for moving Hamels and remain focused only on finding the best deal.

– Paul Casella

Lowrie reportedly seeking three-year deal

Free agent infielder Jed Lowrie is said to be seeking a three-year deal, according to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart.

Lowrie struggled to a .249/.321/.355 battling line with only six homers this past season, but his willingness to play either second base or third base in addition to shortstop could help his market. To this point, the Astros are reportedly interested in a potential reunion, while the Giants could also pursue Lowrie as a potential replacement for Pablo Sandoval.

Whether or not Lowrie is actually able to land a three-year deal remains to be seen, but it seems to at least be a starting point for potential negotiations.

– Paul Casella

Scherzer market set to take off

With Jon Lester reportedly deciding to sign with the Cubs, the market for fellow free agent starter Max Scherzer should now begin to take shape.

That was immediately apparent on Wednesday, with CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reporting that — with Lester’s decision looming — owners from two unidentified teams had flown to the Winter Meetings on Tuesday to meet in-person with Scherzer’s agent, Scott Boras. Though it’s unclear who exactly those two owners were, the market for Scherzer figures to come into focus in the coming days.

The three teams that ultimately came up short in the Lester sweepstakes — the Red Sox, Giants and Dodgers — could all turn their attention toward Scherzer, while Heyman also mentions the Yankees, Cardinals and Tigers as other possibilities. Reports surfaced on Tuesday that the Tigers were ready to spend big money to bring back Scherzer, but general manager Dave Dombrowski denied such a notion, saying instead that the club’s position has not changed.

Scherzer is said to be looking for a contract north of $200 million and, with Lester out of the way and so many teams still in the market for an elite starter, he seems likely to land one.

– Paul Casella

Romo talking to Giants

Free agent reliever Sergio Romo has reportedly had talks with the Giants, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. He had previously reported that the Tigers had also engaged in talks with Romo, but he later recanted that report.

The Astros were also believed to have interest in Romo, though that door is likely closed with Houston reportedly closing in on deals with both Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek.

The Giants demoted Romo out of the closer’s role last season, but the right-hander seemed to have rediscovered his touch by season’s end. After struggling to a 4.74 ERA over 40 first-half outings, Romo notched an impressive 1.80 ERA in 24 outings after the All-Star break. San Francisco also has plenty of money to spend after missing out on in its pursuit of both Pablo Sandoval and Jon Lester.

The Tigers, meanwhile, have insisted that they remain confident with Joe Nathan and Joakim Soria at the back end of their bullpen, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them ultimately pursue some insurance. After all, Detroit’s bullpen posted a 4.29 ERA last season, third-worst in the American League.

Romo’s market could develop even further with Gregerson and Neshek now reportedly off the board, as well as top relievers Andrew Miller and David Robertson.

– Paul Casella

Marlins interested in Morse, Morneau

Two names near the top of the Marlins’ list when it comes to filling their void at first base are free agent Michael Morse and Colorado’s Justin Morneau, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.

The Marlins have made it a priority this offseason to find an upgrade at first base. They believe Morse could be the solution after the 32-year-old batted .279/.336/.475 to go along with 16 homers and 61 RBIs over 131 games this past season with the Giants.

That said, it won’t be easy for the Marlins to sign him. A number of other teams have expressed interest in Morse, including at least two American League teams in the Rangers and Orioles. The option of occassionally serving as a designated hitter may be something that appeals to Morse, given his injury history.

As for Morneau, it’s unclear whether or not the Marlins have even contacted the Rockies at this point, let alone what they’d offer in return.

– Paul Casella

Giants in “backseat” on Lester talks?

Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans suggested to reporters on Tuesday afternoon that the Cubs and Red Sox may be the favorites in the Jon Lester sweepstakes.

Evans reportedly added that the Giants are in the “backseat” when it comes to Lester talks, but other teams are “driving the car.” He also said that a Lester decision isn’t necessarily expected to come on Tuesday, as previously reported.

Though the Giants haven’t been informed that they are off Lester’s radar, Evans’ comments certainly aren’t encouraging. The Giants may have been late entrants in the pursuit of Lester, but general manager Brian Sabean confirmed on Monday that the club’s primary focus is on landing Lester.

“Right now it’s all about Lester,” Sabean said before later adding: “We’re still on the board.”

While that may still be the case, it appears that the Cubs and Red Sox — the initial favorites to sign Lester — are re-emerging as the left-hander’s most likely destinations.

– Paul Casella

Tigers intent on keeping Scherzer

The Tigers’ primary focus is on re-signing marquee free agent Max Scherzer, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The market for Scherzer has been relatively quiet so far this offseason, though that’s likely to change over the next 24 hours with fellow free agent starter Jon Lester expected to announce his decision.

Olney writes that the Tigers are not only “prepared to spend big, big dollars” to sign Scherzer, but that they also plan to keep co-ace David Price in the fold for 2015, as well. Again, there has been very little talk surrounding Scherzer to this point as teams wait to see where Lester ends up.

Aside from the Tigers, other teams that have been linked to Scherzer in varying extents include the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Nationals, Phillies, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, and Blue Jays. The team that ultimately signs Lester will obviously drop off that list.

Regardless, the final cost for Scherzer figures to be enormous, given the amount of deep-pocketed teams that are in the market for an elite starter. Scherzer, keep in mind, turned down a $144 million extension offer from the Tigers last spring.

– Paul Casella

Giants unwilling to give Headley a fourth year?

The Giants are reportedly “dead set” against offering Chase Headley a four-year deal, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

If true, that would figure to significantly decrease the Giants’ chances of landing Headley, who has been reported to already have a four-year, $65 million offer in hand from an unidentified team. Regardless of the validity of that four-year, $65 million offer, Headley is likely to be able to find a four-year deal somewhere on the market.

The Yankees are the team that stands to benefit the most from the Giants’ apparent unwillingness to offer a fourth year. Though the Marlins and Astros have also been linked to Headley in recent days — and one of those two could very well be the mystery club that already has an offer out — the Yankees and Giants have been considered strong favorites ever since Pablo Sandoval signed with the Red Sox earlier this offseason.

Headley is expected to sign a deal at some point this week and could do so as soon as Tuesday, so there should be some clarity provided to this situation in the very near future.

– Paul Casella

Red Sox extend one-year offer to Masterson

The Red Sox have reportedly extended a one-year offer to free agent right-hander Justin Masterson, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

The Red Sox are pursuing Masterson as a potential starter, not a relief option. That said, they are certainly not alone in their pursuit. It was reported on Monday by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that the Rangers also have an offer in to Masterson, while a number of other teams, including the Marlins, White Sox, Royals, Giants, Cubs, Tigers, Indians and Twins are all known to have interest as well.

Teams are banking on a bounceback year for Masterson, who is coming off a season in which he posted an unsightly 5.88 ERA over 28 injury-hampered outings (25 starts) between the Indians and Cardinals. Now seemingly healthy, teams are hoping to find a bargain with a one- or two-year deal for the 29-year-old righty.

– Paul Casella

Lester signing could reignite Hamels talks

Though the Phillies aren’t one of the four teams reportedly pursuing Jon Lester, they could be one of the clubs most impacted by his final decision, which is expected to come at some point on Tuesday.

Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has been floated as a potential backup plan for both the Red Sox and Dodgers, leading Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer to suggest that the Phils could start fielding serious offers for Hamels in the coming days. “The Phillies, a team desperate for outfield reinforcements, could target Joc Pederson in a trade with Los Angeles,” writes Gelb.

The Cubs and Giants, the other two clubs known to be pursuing Lester, could also attempt to engage the Phillies in trade talks if they miss out on Lester.

It’s no secret that the Phillies are trying to trade a number of their big-contract players this offseason, with Hamels’ name popping up most often in rumors. Not surprisingly, teams have been much less willing to take on the unfavorable contract of a player such as Ryan Howard.

The Red Sox have reportedly rejected past offers from the Phillies, but the Phils figure to gain at least some leverage in the aftermath of Lester’s decision. Either way, trade talks should heat back up once Lester is off the market.

– Paul Casella

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 758 other followers