Wieters drawing interest from a few teams
The market for free-agent catcher Matt Wieters is getting smaller, but ESPN's Jerry Crasnick is reporting that the Angels, Rockies and Reds have shown interest in him.
Wieters spent the first eight years of his career with the Orioles. In 2016, he played his first full year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in '14 and was an All-Star, hitting. 243 with 17 home runs and 66 RBIs.
While the Angels have been tied to Wieters this offseason, the Rockies and Reds have yet to make any formal inquiries. Both could use a veteran presence behind the dish. Colorado is planning to platoon rookie catcher Tom Murphy with 24-year-old Tony Wolters. Cincinnati is hoping for a quick recovery for Devin Mesoraco, who missed most of the 2016 season after undergoing shoulder and hip surgery.
Don't count the Orioles out yet though. Crasnick said that the team may be open to Wieters stepping into a designated-hitter role and catching platoon with Welington Castillo. However, the front office is still divided on the veteran catcher.
Lincecum still wants to pitch
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn't ready for retirement just yet. Lincecum's agent, Rick Thurman, told the San Jose Mercury News that he is "throwing and getting ready for the season".
Lincecum hasn't yet considered pitching overseas, despite not having a contract or any serious suitors for 2017.
After signing a one-year deal with the Angels, Lincecum struggled in 2016, going 2-6 with a 9.16 ERA in just nine games.
Lincecum won back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2008 and '09 with the Giants, but he began to fall off in '12, when he went 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA.
Astros in contact with A's regarding Gray
The Astros have mostly been linked to White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana this offseason, but MLB Network Insider Ken Rosenthal tweeted Tuesday the club also has interest in another young, cost-controlled starter: Oakland right-hander Sonny Gray.
Gray, 27, is coming off a rough season in which he went 5-11 with a 5.69 ERA in only 22 starts because of a forearm issue. He's still one of the game's brightest young pitchers, however, going 33-20 with a 2.88 ERA in 76 games (74 starts) from 2012-15.
Because of Gray's track record -- and the fact that he's under club control through 2019 -- the A's are no doubt seeking a haul of prospects in return. Houston has reportedly balked at the asking price for Quintana, who is guaranteed $18.9 million the next two years, with two option years ($10.6 million in 2019, $11.5 million in '20) or a $1 million buyout.
Gray agreed to a one-year, $3.75 million deal for 2017 to avoid arbitration.
Tigers infielders available?
What was expected to be a busy offseason for Detroit hasn't panned out, but the Tigers are still hoping to shed payroll and get under the luxury-tax threshold before the 2017 season.
Second baseman Ian Kinsler, whose name has been floated all offseason, is still available, according to The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo. He could be viewed as a fallback option for the Dodgers if they are unable to acquire Brian Dozier from Minnesota.
Kinsler has played some of his best ball in Detroit since coming over from Texas. The 34-year-old will make $11 million in 2017 and has an '18 club option for $12 million, though he has said he'd want a contract extension if traded to Los Angeles.
"The Tigers are a willing trade partner because they're trying to get rid of payroll. Kinsler is still a top player and he only has two years remaining on his deal," an executive told Cafardo.
Kinsler's double-play partner, shortstop Jose Iglesias, could also be made available. The 27-year-old is a standout defensively, but he has been up and down offensively -- though he hit .300 in 2015 while earning All-Star honors. He batted .255 last season.
The Tigers believe prospect Dixon Machado is ready to take over shortstop duties, making Iglesias available, according to Cafardo. Machado, the club's No. 14 prospect per MLB Pipeline, hit .266/.349/.356 in 131 games at Triple-A Toledo last season and appeared in eight games for the Tigers, going 1-for-10.
Holland seeks unusual deal
Free-agent closer Greg Holland is looking for a one-year deal plus a player option that could allow him to test the free-agent market once again next offseason, Heyman reported Wednesday.
After seeing this year's class of free-agent relievers cash in on big deals, Holland, who missed all of 2016 while recovering from Tommy John surgery, is hoping for a similar market after the upcoming season.
This type of contract, which could also be looked at as a two-year deal with a one-year opt out, could help Holland regain his form gradually in 2017 before working a full '18 season.
Per Heyman, many of the teams interested in Holland's services believe the two-year package to be sensible, given the right-hander's lengthy absence.
Holland, 31, was an integral part of the Royals' bullpen from 2013-15. He was selected to the American League All-Star team twice in that span, and he racked up 125 saves combined over the three seasons before an elbow injury kept him from pitching in the playoffs when Kansas City won the World Series in 2015.
The Dodgers, Nationals, Rockies, Brewers and Reds, among other teams, reportedly have interest in signing Holland.
Dozier talks between Twins, Dodgers stall
The Dodgers, long the favorite to land Dozier in a potential trade, have reached an impasse in negotiations with Minnesota, according to a report by Rosenthal.
There is currently no momentum for a deal between the Twins and Dodgers, according to Rosenthal, who added that the cooling-off stage between the two clubs does not rule out a deal in the future. Rosenthal added that the Twins aim to give Dozier a "heightened peace of mind" on his status with the club.
While the Dodgers have been unable to meet the Twins' asking price so far, plenty of other clubs have joined the mix for Dozier, who exploded for 28 home runs in the second half of the 2016 season. Last Friday, Mike Berardino of The Pioneer Press reported that the Braves could become a "stealth landing spot" for the five-year veteran, as Atlanta boasts young trade chips, including right-handed pitchers Aaron Blair and Matt Wisler. The Cardinals were reported at the end of December to be heavily interested in trading for Dozier.
MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported last week that trade discussions involving Dozier were expected to be sorted out within the next week, so time may be running out for potential suitors. Meanwhile, MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger has reported that the Twins could be looking to keep Dozier and add a power bat, such as Bautista, through free agency.
Reunion with Hammel a possibility for Orioles
Two days after trading right-hander Yovani Gallardo to Seattle, Orioles general manager Dan Duquette told ESPN's Jim Bowden on Sunday the club would like to add another veteran pitcher.
Free-agent right-hander Jason Hammel, who pitched for the Orioles from 2012-13, is one of the names on Baltimore's list.
"We like him, especially the way he pitched for us," Duquette told Bowden.
Hammel, 34, became a free agent after the Cubs bought out his 2017 option. He was 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 30 starts last season for the Cubs, but was not on the postseason roster during the team's World Series run.
Hammel has plenty of experience in the American League East, beginning his career with the Rays from 2006-08 and then joining the Orioles for '12-13. He was 15-14 with a 4.27 ERA during his time in Baltimore.
Hammel is 84-87 with a 4.42 ERA in 11 seasons with the Rays, Rockies, Orioles, A's and Cubs.
O's still looking at bats
The Orioles' trade for Mariners outfielder Seth Smith on Friday doesn't mean they're done making moves on the offensive front.
According to Morosi, the O's are still looking at hitters -- and could try to add another left-handed-hitting option at a corner position, like free agent Brandon Moss.
The Smith trade, in which Gallardo went to Seattle, saves Baltimore $4 million in salary for 2017, giving them some additional financial flexibility that could help them make another signing.
Moss, who can play first base and both corner-outfield positions, would provide the O's lineup with another lefty power hitter to go along with Smith and Chris Davis. The 33-year-old Moss hit .225/.300/.484 with 28 home runs and 67 RBIs in 128 games for the Cardinals last season.
Moss has averaged 25 homers a season over the past five years, with a 119 OPS+ over that span.
Dodgers seeking righty setup man
The Dodgers locked down the ninth inning when they re-signed closer Kenley Jansen in December. Now, they're looking for someone to help get him the ball.
Los Angeles is looking for a right-handed reliever who can pitch the eighth inning, sources told Morosi on Friday.