Trade, free-agent talks heat up as Winter Meetings arrive
By Paul Casella
The Hot Stove was far from quiet on the eve of the Winter Meetings, with some teams reportedly agreeing to terms with free agents and others continuing to build the framework on potential blockbuster deals.
Despite the marquee signings of David Price and Zack Greinke within the past week, plenty of rumors continue to swirl as executives from all 30 teams descend on the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., this week.
Here's a closer look at some of the top Hot Stove buzz currently circulating around the Majors:
Dodgers pursuing Chapman
The Dodgers kept plenty busy on the night before the Meetings, reportedly agreeing to a three-year deal with starter Hisashi Iwakuma, while also continuing to talk to the Reds about closer Aroldis Chapman. Though no deal has been reached at this point, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Dodgers were "making progress" on a possible deal. A number of teams have inquired about Chapman this offseason, with CBS Sports' Jon Heyman adding that the Astros and Dodgers have been the "most active" in recent trade talks involving the hard-throwing closer.
Zobrist market clearing up Ben Zobrist, who lives in the Nashville area, will be in attendance at this week's Winter Meetings and at least one Mets executive believes he could reach a decision by the end of the week, according to ESPN's Adam Rubin. Zobrist, the Mets' top target this offseason, visited Citi Field last week to meet with Mets brass before also exploring possible living options in nearby Westchester County and Connecticut. As for any other potential suitors, Rosenthal reports that the Giants, Nationals and Braves also remain interested, though Zobrist's desire is to "join a contender," leaving the Braves behind the other three.
Red Sox listening on pitchers
Despite already acquiring All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel and signing Price to a record-breaking contract, the Red Sox are likely far from done this offseason. The next step could be listening to potential trade offers for starting pitchers Wade Miley and Joe Kelly, as well as Clay Buchholz, according to a report from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Boston is believed to be seeking relief help in return, while MLB.com's Joe Frisaro adds that the Marlins are among the teams potentially interested in Miley.
Indians seeking offensive upgrades
The Indians head to Nashville hoping to find some much-needed offensive firepower. Cleveland's president of baseball operations, Chris Antonetti, said in an interview on MLB Network Radio that the team is pursuing all potential options when it comes to adding a "corner bat or outfielder." The club has reportedly shown interest in free-agent sluggers Pedro Alvarez and Chris Carter, among others, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.