With the MLB Off-Season underway, many teams are looking to upgrade, find replacements, and make major renovations to their clubs. TSN.ca looks at the day's hottest off-season rumors and speculations.
M is for Melky?
After landing a big bat in Nelson Cruz, the Seattle Mariners’ next target could be free agent switch-hitter Melky Cabrera.
The News Tribune published a report on Friday that the club could now turn its sights to the former Blue Jays outfielder, since they have already forfeited their first-round draft pick by signing Cruz. Should the M’s successfully sign Cabrera, they would then forfeit a second-round draft pick instead.
““A switch-hitter would be tremendous…Right-handed would be good, but you’re not going to walk away from a good hitter,” the Tribune quoted Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik as saying.
Teams can be gun-shy about surrendering compensatory picks for tendered free agents, but once a team has committed to one free agent it can loosen the purse strings. The Baltimore Orioles pulled off a similar feat last off-season, signing right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez late in the off-season after already having forfeited their first-round pick by signing Cruz.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly looking to move a body from their outfield and Matt Kemp – who enjoyed a bounce-back year in 2014 after two injury-plagued seasons – is a player many teams covet.
However, ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported Friday that he’s still not the body the Dodgers would like to move. “Exec of team interested in Matt Kemp says he still isn't convinced #Dodgers will deal him. Says ‘Ethier's still the guy they want to move,’” Stark wrote on Twitter.
Kemp, 30, played 150 games last season, racking up 155 hits, 25 home runs and 89 RBI. All three were the highest totals he’d posted since the 2011 campaign that saw him finish second in National League MVP voting. He has five years remaining on his contract worth a total of $107 million.
Ethier, 32, posted career lows in home runs (4), RBI (42), average (.249) and OPS (.691) last season and has three guaranteed years remaining on his contract worth a total of $53.5 million. He also has a $17.5 million vesting option for 2018 that can be bought out for $2.5 million.
Reds All Over
The Cincinnati Reds may not be done tinkering with their outfield for next season.
CBS Jon Morosi reported Friday via Twitter that the team remained active on both adding and subtracting outfielders.
“#Reds have interest in #DBacks outfield depth, sources say. David Peralta is one name being considered. (Kevin Towers with Reds now.),” Morosi wrote.
“Reds are in a unique spot. They have already traded Heisey and are listening on Bruce. But they need controllable outfielders,” he added.
The most intriguing name mentioned by Morosi remains Jay Bruce, who had a down 2014 after three highly productive seasons. He hit 18 home runs and 66 RBI lasts eason in 137 games after three straight seasons eclipsing the 30 home run and 95 RBI plateaus. He has three years remaining on his current deal worth a total of $37.5 million.