NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Cubs acquired a new closer and created less of a logjam in the outfield, trading Jorge Soler to the Royals for right-hander Wade Davis on Wednesday.
The Cubs came into the Winter Meetings wanting to bolster their bullpen and did so by adding the two-time All-Star. Davis was part of the Royals' three-headed monster bullpen in 2015, and he was a dominant setup man for Greg Holland before shifting to closer. Over the past three seasons, Davis has posted a 1.18 ERA with 47 saves over 185 appearances. Cubs manager Joe Maddon knows him well from their time together in Tampa Bay (2009-12).
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- In a Winter Meetings surprise, the Rockies on Wednesday signed free-agent Ian Desmond to fill their first-base opening for five years and $70 million, according to multiple reports. Colorado has not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical.
Because Desmond, who played center field for the Rangers last season and hit .285 with 22 home runs and 86 RBIs plus made the American League All-Star team, received a qualifying offer from Texas, the Rockies will forfeit the No. 11 overall pick, the highest unprotected, in the 2017 MLB Draft.
Ten months ago, Jose Bautista reportedly asked the Blue Jays for a contract extension well in excess of $100 million. It didn't happen, and after an injury-plagued year and with a qualifying offer pick hanging over his head, he's likely to end up signing a deal for half of that or less. That might not be great news for Bautista, but it's fantastic news for a variety of teams who now find themselves in a situation where they might actually be able to get one of baseball's biggest sluggers. Where could he end up?
Briefly, on what Bautista is and will be headed into his age-36 season: No hitter in the Majors has more homers since 2010 than his 249. Though 2016 was Bautista's least productive season since becoming a regular in 2009, his .234/.366/.452 (122 wRC+) line was still above average and about as valuable on an offensive basis as seasons from Carlos Correa and Mark Trumbo. That said, his once-strong throwing arm has become a weakness (average of 84.4 mph per Statcast™, among the lowest in baseball) and his defensive value is no longer positive (-8 DRS in 2016).
Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Biggest prospects traded in past 25 years
By Mike Rosenbaum
The Red Sox made a splash Tuesday on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings, acquiring left-handed ace Chris Sale in a blockbuster deal that sent Yoan Moncada and three other prospects to the White Sox.
The inclusion of Moncada, MLBPipeline.com's No. 1 overall prospect, is particularly significant, as it marks the first time in at least 25 years that baseball's top overall prospect has been traded, based on the rankings done by MLB, MLB Pipeline and Baseball America.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The newest Red Sox pitching star won't worry about being called "ace" on a staff that already includes reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and five-time All-Star and 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner David Price.
Instead, Chris Sale is ecstatic to join forces with his new team and put everything he has into trying to win a World Series for the first time in his career.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Yankees are placing the ball in the court of the two elite closers remaining on the free-agent market, as they have tendered contract offers to both Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen, general manager Brian Cashman said on Tuesday.
Cashman would not speak to the length of the commitments offered to the pair of prized relievers, but both Chapman and Jansen are expected to land pacts exceeding the four-year, $62 million deal that Mark Melancon received from the Giants on Monday.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
MLB, Under Armour ring opening bell at NYSE
By Mark Newman
NEW YORK -- Kevin Plank has a sign on a whiteboard back at his Under Armour headquarters in Baltimore that reads: "Makes big bets with big partners." On Wednesday morning at the New York Stock Exchange, it was as big as the big leagues.
The Under Armour founder and CEO rang the opening bell there along with Commissioner Rob Manfred, Yankees rookie outfielder and UA athlete Aaron Judge, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts and others involved with the just-announced 10-year deal that will make that global performance brand the official uniform provider for Major League Baseball starting in 2020.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Rumor Roundup: Quintana interests Braves
The Hot Stove season is underway, and we're keeping you up to date with the latest free-agent news, trade buzz, rumors and more.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Legendary broadcaster Bill King, whose voice was so familiar to the sports fans in the Bay Area, was elected the winner of the 2017 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting, the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday.
During the 1980s, the late King was ubiquitous, serving as the voice of the A's, Raiders and Warriors, including handling all three jobs from '81-83. He was most known for his basketball broadcasting, calling the Warriors' first NBA championship in '75, plus several Super Bowl-winning Raiders team. But King always said his first love was baseball, and nobody prepared to call that game harder than King.
Recovering Mets righty isn't sure whether he'll be in rotation or bullpen
By Joe Trezza
NEW YORK -- Zack Wheeler's emotions ran the gamut since he last pitched in a Major League game two Septembers ago: from disappointment to hope and back again, the ride riddled with constant frustration.
Now, the one thing he doesn't feel is pain. Wheeler said his right arm is as healthy as it's been since undergoing Tommy John and flexor tendon surgery in March 2015, fueling the likelihood he'll pitch again this spring. The only question is where.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Seeing a need to serve elite-level high school amateur baseball players, USA Baseball and Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday the creation of the Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP), an official means for high school-age (16-18) amateur baseball players in the United States to be seen by all 30 MLB clubs.
Set to begin with five pre-high school season events around the country in January, then a dozen more post-high school season events at various sites in late May and June, the PDP Premier Events will be single-day regional workouts.
From Hack to Herrera: A history of the Rule 5 Draft
Complete overview of event that's been giving players a shot since before the World Series
By Andrew Simon
This week's Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Md., will conclude on Thursday morning with the annual Rule 5 Draft, which will be streamed live on Dec. 8 at 9 a.m. ET.
Though it has changed considerably over the years, the Rule 5 Draft dates back a century and a quarter, making it older than the World Series. Along the way, it has produced many big league contributors and a handful of stars but remains a relatively minor source of talent.
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD. -- The Blue Jays apparently haven't closed the door on re-signing Jose Bautista. The club had an in-person meeting with Bautista's camp on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings for the first time since February.
According to multiple industry sources, the meeting involved conversations about not only Bautista but also free-agent catcher Chris Iannetta, who has the same agent. Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins did not specifically comment on the meeting but did say that he has touched base with all of his team's current free agents -- a group that of course includes Bautista.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
New Sox for Sale! Top prospects to Chicago
RHP Kopech, OF Basabe and RHP Diaz also headed to Chicago in deal
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox struck for a blockbuster trade that makes an already solid team a potentially fearsome one, acquiring lefty ace Chris Sale from the White Sox on Tuesday for a four-prospect package that includes infielder Yoan Moncada.
Boston also sent highly touted pitching prospect Michael Kopech, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and right-hander Victor Diaz to Chicago. Moncada is the top-ranked prospect in the game, according to MLBPipeline.com. The deal marks the first time in at least 25 years that baseball's No. 1 prospect has been traded, based on the rankings done by MLB Pipeline and Baseball America.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Rangers have addressed their center-field situation by agreeing with outfielder Carlos Gomez on a one-year, $11.5 million contract late Tuesday night, Major League sources said.
The club has not confirmed the news. An official announcement is pending a physical.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Cashman says Yanks unlikely to add starter
GM cites 'tough market' and high price tags, doesn't want to move top prospects
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- As the Yankees wait for free-agent closers Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen to respond to their respective contract offers, general manager Brian Cashman says that he is preparing to head into 2017 without adding to the team's stable of starting pitching.
Cashman said that he has found it difficult to upgrade over their current crop of starters, which features Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia as the only rotation locks. As such, Cashman said that he no longer anticipates being able to add a starter this offseason.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- On a wall in Rick Hahn's suburban Chicago home, in the bedroom of one of his two sons, resides a picture featuring his son with Chris Sale. It hangs next to a picture of his son with Mark Buehrle.
So rebuilding a team certainly isn't earning Hahn major dad points.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Another rotation candidate is about to join the Marlins. Left-hander Jeff Locke has reached an agreement on a one-year contract, pending completion of his physical, MLB.com has confirmed.
Locke, who had been with the Pirates since 2011, would become one of three left-handers in Miami's projected rotation. The Marlins also are finalizing a contract with right-handed reliever Dustin McGowan, who will be returning to Miami.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Rays addressed their desire to upgrade the catching situation on Tuesday night when they agreed with free-agent catcher Wilson Ramos on a two-year deal -- pending a physical -- sources told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Adding Chris Sale to an already formidable roster has turned the Red Sox into baseball's version of the Golden State Warriors, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman quipped shortly after the seismic trade that rattled the Winter Meetings on Tuesday afternoon.
"That's a big one. That's a blockbuster," Cashman said. "It was a 'Wow.' Obviously they gave up a lot and they got a lot. Boston's like the Golden State Warriors now in baseball; they've got their [Kevin] Durant, their [Draymond] Green, [Klay] Thompson and [Stephen] Curry. It's a big one."
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- There's no doubt that the Braves are a couple years away from fully reaping the benefits of a massive rebuilding project that has created the possibility of sustained success over much of the next decade.
But as Brian Snitker prepares for his first full season as a big league manager, he hearkens back to what occurred in September and feels strong enough about this offseason to believe Atlanta already has what it takes to win the National League East.
Jon Paul Morosi is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
David Ortiz says that the Chris Sale trade has got him thinking ...
By Matt Monagan |
No matter how much we wanted him to continue playing and mashing dingers until the end of time, David Ortiz told us on multiple occasions that the 2016 season would be his last. He was adamant about it. He had a farewell tour. He got a surfboard. He probably wants to be a surfer.
But then, after the Red Sox acquired ace Chris Sale from the White Sox on Tuesday -- giving the team one of the best starting rotations in baseball -- Big Papi seemed to be having some second thoughts about this whole no more baseball thing ...
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- In February, Juan Nicasio reported to Spring Training with no set role. He opened the season in the rotation before ultimately sticking in the bullpen.
The Bucs already know where Nicasio will work next season -- out of the bullpen -- but it's less clear when he'll pitch. Nicasio's role is up in the air, dependent on whether Pittsburgh adds a more traditional setup man to replace free-agent right-hander Neftali Feliz.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Bucs, Nats could strike McCutchen deal
Previous Washington targets Melancon, Sale landed elsewhere at Meetings
By Adam Berry and Jamal Collier
MLB.com |@adamdberry |
The Red Sox made the biggest move of the offseason on Tuesday, acquiring former White Sox ace Sale for a haul of top prospects. On Monday, the Giants jump-started the run on closers by signing Melancon, the former Pirate, to a four-year, $62 million deal.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Source: Seattle has discussions with Trumbo
By Greg Johns
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Is it possible that Mark Trumbo could return to the Mariners after leading the Major Leagues in home runs last year for the Orioles? According to a source, Seattle has had discussions with the free-agent first baseman's representatives during the Winter Meetings this week at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, though no deal appears imminent.
ESPN's Jim Bowden reported Tuesday night that the Mariners were in "serious talks" with the free-agent slugger, though the source said "serious" might be overstating the situation at this point. The club has not confirmed the discussions.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Source: Moreland agrees to 1-year deal with Red Sox
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox capped their wild Tuesday at the Winter Meetings by agreeing to terms with first baseman Mitch Moreland on a one-year deal that is contingent on a physical, MLB.com has learned.
MLB Network contributor Ken Rosenthal was first to report the news, which the Red Sox have not confirmed yet. MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported the deal is worth $5.5 million.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Golfer/MiLB owner Watson enjoying Meetings
By Corinne Landrey |
If you're at the Winter Meetings and you see a guy who looks an awful lot like pro-golfer Bubba Watson, chances are you just saw the man himself. Watson may be most famous for his exploits on the golf course, but he's also an active businessman. One of his projects is partial ownership of the Reds' Double-A affiliate, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Were the Winter Meetings lobby a ticketed attraction (and maybe we shouldn't give people ideas here), then the Chris Sale trade that went down on Tuesday at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center would allow this year's event to qualify as money well spent. This is the kind of stuff we come for -- the big, bold splash involving a perennial All-Star and Cy Young Award candidate who is, ahem, changing Sox.
A swap this seismic doesn't occur in isolation. It has ripple effects throughout the industry. And here, in no particular order, are the teams most affected.
Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.