Cubs Trade Rumors: Gerrit Cole Reportedly Discussed by Chicago

The Chicago Cubs have reportedly reached out to the Pittsburgh Pirates to discuss a potential trade for starting pitcher Gerrit Cole.

On Friday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports noted the Cubs joined the New York Yankees and Houston Astros as clubs in talks with the Buccos about the 2015 All-Star selection. 

                 

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Cubs Trade Rumors: Gerrit Cole Reportedly Discussed by Chicago

The Chicago Cubs have reportedly reached out to the Pittsburgh Pirates to discuss a potential trade for starting pitcher Gerrit Cole.

On Friday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports noted the Cubs joined the New York Yankees and Houston Astros as clubs in talks with the Buccos about the 2015 All-Star selection. 

                 

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Kris Bryant Reportedly Gets 1st-Year Arbitration Record $10.85M from Cubs

The Chicago Cubs and third baseman Kris Bryant reportedly reached an agreement Friday on a one-year, $10.85 million contract that would set a new record for a player in their first year of arbitration eligibility.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported details of the deal. 

                 

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Manny Machado Trade Rumors: Diamondbacks ‘Most Persistent’ Team Chasing Deal

The Arizona Diamondbacks reportedly continue to discuss a potential trade for Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado, but a finalized deal isn't imminent.

On Tuesday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the D-backs remain the "most persistent" potential suitor for the O's slugger. 

                 

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Eric Hosmer Rumors: Royals Offer 7-Year Contract After Padres’ Record Pitch

The Kansas City Royals have reportedly made first baseman Eric Hosmer a seven-year, $147 million contract offer amid interest from the San Diego Padres.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the offer Wednesday and noted Hosmer, who spent the first seven seasons of his MLB career with the Royals before hitting free agency this offseason, also has a seven-year, $140 million proposal on the table from the Padres.

Hosmer is seeking an additional year or two, but it's unclear whether Kansas City or San Diego will increase their team-record offers, per Nightengale.

The 28-year-old infielder is coming off his most complete offensive season to date. He posted a .318/.385/.498 triple-slash line with 25 home runs and 31 doubles while playing all 162 regular-season games for the Royals in 2017.

In September, Hosmer said he wasn't sure how his free-agent foray would end but hoped Royals fans would remember him fondly if he landed elsewhere, per John Pepitone of WDAF.

"Just wanted to do everything the right way, on and off the field," he said. "[General manager] Dayton [Moore] and his staff put a lot into not only us being good baseball players, but good people off the field. Doing everything the right way, that's what everybody wants to be remembered as."

Hosmer's resume includes four Gold Glove Awards, a Silver Slugger Award and an All-Star Game MVP Award from the 2016 Midsummer Classic, which was held in San Diego.

He also helped Kansas City win its first World Series title since 1985 in 2015.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Josh Donaldson, Christian Yelich and More

The rumor mill started operating on overdrive this week during the MLB Winter Meetings in Florida, as the trade market became more wide-open after the Miami Marlins dealt reigning home run champion Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees.

Stanton was viewed as Plan A for several teams around baseball looking to upgrade their offenses. Now that he's off the table, front offices have begun the process of looking elsewhere for an impact bat, including other possible trades or free agency.

So let's check out some of the latest trade talk, headlined by a couple other sluggers, and analyze what it could mean for the teams involved as the offseason hot stove continues to burn.

             

Toronto Blue Jays Holding Firm On Josh Donaldson

Donaldson is coming off another strong season with the Jays. He posted a .270/.385/.559 triple-slash line and crushed 33 home runs in just 113 games. He's established himself as one of the game's premier power hitters over the last five years, averaging 32.8 homers with Toronto and the Oakland Athletics.

In turn, it's no surprise his name has come up with numerous clubs seeking more pop and his contract set to run out following the 2018 season. While the latter factor would seemingly force the Blue Jays to consider a move, there's no apparent sense of urgency.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the St. Louis Cardinals "keep pushing" for a deal involving the third baseman, but the Jays have stuck with their high price tag since they are planning to seriously compete in the tough AL East next season.

The Cards were one of the teams most commonly linked to Stanton before he joined the Yanks, so the connection makes sense. They already added Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins for power help.

Trading for Donaldson, which would likely shift Matt Carpenter to second base, would eliminate St. Louis' lack of longballs and give it one of the league's deepest lineups.

                  

Christian Yelich Generating Widespread Interest

It's unclear when Miami's fire sale of assets will conclude, but outfielder Christian Yelich could be the next marquee name on the move if the front office's payroll-reducing efforts continue. He finished 2017 with a .808 OPS, 18 homers and 16 stolen bases.

Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reported "at least 10 clubs" have reached out to the Marlins to check the availability of the 26-year-old California native. He noted the interested group includes the Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Braves are an intriguing option as they attempt to turn a corner in their rebuilding efforts. An outfield that features Yelich, Ender Inciarte and super-prospect Ronald Acuna would create a foundation for long-term success. Finding a way to move Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis will be difficult, though.

Meanwhile, the Marlins have already stripped their roster of two key players after a season where they posted a 77-85 record. They are better off keeping Yelich, who's playing under a reasonable seven-year, $49.6 million contract through 2021 with a club option for 2022, unless the return package is irresistible.

           

Kelvin Herrera Targeted By Texas Rangers

Herrera will be looking to bounce back in 2018 after a down year by his typically high standards. He finished last season with a 4.25 ERA and 1.35 WHIP across 64 games. Over the previous five years, however, he compiled a 2.57 ERA with 360 strikeouts in 354.1 innings.

Some opposing front offices may view it as a chance to buy low on the reliever, but it doesn't seem like the Kansas City Royals are going to bite.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the Rangers are "strongly pursuing" the right-hander. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports noted Kansas City is seeking "big prospects" in return, which has caused Texas to shy away from making a deal, at least so far.

The Rangers finished 28th in MLB with a 4.76 bullpen ERA last season and don't have a proven closer on the current roster. Acquiring Herrera would give them a right-handed complement to lefty Alex Claudio and allow manager Jeff Banister to mix and match in the final innings.

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MLB Rule 5 Draft 2017 Results: Team-by-Team Breakdown

The 2017 MLB Rule 5 draft took place Thursday morning from the MLB winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The Detroit Tigers selected outfielder Victor Reyes from the Arizona Diamondbacks with the first overall pick.

Teams pay $100,000 to take a player during the major league phase of the draft. The choice must remain on the club's 25-man roster for the duration of the 2018 season or he must be offered back to his original organization for $50,000.

Roberto Clemente, Johan Santana, Jose Bautista and Josh Hamilton are among the notable players who became valuable major league assets after being selected in the Rule 5 draft.

Let's check out the complete list of choices in Round 1. That's followed by a closer look at some of the most noteworthy picks. For a full break down of the selections, including the minor league portion of the draft, visit MLB's official website.

              

Round 1 Results

1. Detroit Tigers: Victor Reyes (OF – Diamondbacks)

2. San Francisco Giants: Julian Fernandez (RHP – Rockies)

3. Philadelphia Phillies: Nick Burdi (RHP – Twins)

4. Chicago White Sox: Carlos Tocci (OF – Phillies)

5. Cincinnati Reds: Brad Keller (RHP – Diamondbacks)

6. New York Mets: Burch Smith (RHP – Padres)

7. Atlanta Braves: Anyelo Gomez (RHP – Yankees)

8. Pittsburgh Pirates: Jordan Milbrath (RHP – Indians)

9. Baltimore Orioles: Nestor Cortes (LHP – Yankees)

10. Toronto Blue Jays: PASS

11. Miami Marlins: Elieser Hernandez (RHP – Astros)

12. Seattle Mariners: Mike Ford (1B – Yankees)

13. Texas Rangers: PASS

14. Tampa Bay Rays: PASS

15. Los Angeles Angels: Luke Bard (RHP – Twins)

16. Kansas City Royals: PASS

17. St. Louis Cardinals: PASS

18. Minnesota Twins: Tyler Kinley (RHP – Marlins)

19. Milwaukee Brewers: PASS

20. Colorado Rockies: PASS

21. New York Yankees: PASS

22. Chicago Cubs: PASS

23. Arizona Diamondbacks: Albert Suarez (RHP – Giants)

24. Boston Red Sox: PASS

25. Washington Nationals: PASS

26. Houston Astros: Anthony Gose (LHP – Rangers)

27. Cleveland Indians: PASS

             

Notable Picks

Victor Reyes to Tigers

Reyes spent the entire 2017 season with the Jackson Generals, the D-Backs' Double-A affiliate. He posted a .292/.332/.399 triple-slash line with 29 doubles and 18 stolen bases in 126 games. He owns a career .298 batting average across 561 appearances in the minors.

His combination of speed and versatility in the outfield—he's played at least 87 games at all three outfield spots, including 304 in right field—makes him a prototypical fourth or fifth outfielder if Detroit decides to keep him after spring training.

Kyle Glaser‏ of Baseball America provided some more scouting notes:

The biggest question about his long-term outlook is whether the gap power he showed last season will eventually translate into more home runs. He's tallied just 12 homers during his time in the minor leagues, but he showcased more raw pop in 2017, which adds some intrigue to this pick.

So Reyes, whom MLB.com rated as the No. 18 prospect in the Arizona system, should have a reasonable chance to stick with a Tigers squad needing outfield depth.

         

Nick Burdi to Phillies

Burdi possessed a lot of arm talent when the Twins selected him in the second round of the 2014 MLB draft. His future has become more clouded after two injury-plagued years, however, which is why Minnesota left him unprotected in the Rule 5 draft.

The 24-year-old Illinois native was limited to three games in 2016 because of two trips to the disabled list. He returned for the start of the 2017 season but suffered an elbow injury in May that required Tommy John surgery, leaving him without a definitive timetable to return.

Burdi provided a look at his recovery on social media last week:

He was pitching terrific before the latest setback with a 0.53 ERA and 0.77 WHIP across 14 appearances out of the bullpen for the Chattanooga Lookouts in Double-A.

Philadelphia can stash him on the DL until he's cleared to return, which lessens the initial 25-man roster burden, but it's unclear what type of pitcher he'll be after the injury.

               

Anthony Gose to Astros

Gose is a name familiar to most baseball fans. He spent five years in the majors with the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers as an outfielder but struggled with the bat. He compiled a lackluster .240/.309/.348 triple-slash line in 372 games.

He always featured an electric arm in center field. So the 27-year-old left-hander started the process of transitioning to pitcher in the Tigers organization last season. While his 7.59 ERA in 11 games showcased the learning curve, he did strike out 14 batters in 10.2 innings at the Class A Advanced level.

It's a long way from the Lakeland Flying Tigers to the 25-man roster of the reigning World Series champion Astros, though. He'd need to showcase serious improvement during the spring to warrant serious consideration for a roster spot.

Meanwhile, Jake Kaplan‏ of the Houston Chronicle provided a nice tidbit about the pick:

Houston is in a position where it can afford to take a gamble, and it could use another left-handed option out of the pen. It's a long shot, but taking a flier on Gose's upside is worth the investment.   

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Report: Manny Machado Won’t Sign New Contract if Traded

Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado is reportedly not expected to sign a contract extension if he's traded before the 2018 MLB season.

On Thursday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported trade talks are ongoing, but there's "no expectation" there would be discussions about a new deal for Machado after completing a potential swap.

The 25-year-old Florida native will play his final year under arbitration in 2018, and he's eligible to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Machado wants to become a primary shortstop before hitting the open market after playing third base for most of his time in the majors. The switch would give him more value as a free agent next offseason.

He's coming off a year where he tallied 33 home runs, his third consecutive campaign hitting more than 30, but his batting average dropped to a career-low .259. Meanwhile, his on-base percentage fell to .310, .019 points below his career average.

Nevertheless, Machado is drawing widespread attention. Buster Olney‏ of ESPN noted the New York Yankees, who recently acquired Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins, and Chicago White Sox are among the clubs showing interest.

However, the White Sox and Yankees both have a bigger need at third base than shortstop.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the O's are still "aggressively" moving forward with trade talks and could complete a deal this week.

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Marcell Ozuna Traded to Cardinals After Marlins Deal Giancarlo Stanton

The Miami Marlins reportedly agreed to trade outfielder Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday. 

Craig Mish of SiriusXM first reported the deal was in place.

Ozuna posted a terrific .312/.376/.548 slash line with 37 home runs in 2017.

The 27-year-old left fielder first started to showcase impressive power potential en route to 54 extra-base hits, including 23 homers, during the 2014 campaign. His numbers dropped off in 2015, however, as he hit just 10 homers in 123 games and got sent to the minors for about five weeks.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported in October 2015 that the front office had become split over the outfielder. Some members wanted to keep him, while former owner Jeffrey Loria was "down on him." Ozuna noted at the time there wasn't much he could do about the situation.

"I like it here, but if they don't want me, I can't control it. I will learn from this year," he said.

The situation isn't uncommon. When a young player flashes upside but battles inconsistency, the team is left in a tricky situation, especially with Miami's new ownership group looking to slash payroll before the 2018 campaign kicks off.

On one side, the Marlins knew they could still get solid value for Ozuna based on his age and the fact he played much better as his power returned. He finished 2016 with 23 homers before breaking out in 2017. The downside is potentially waiting too long to make a move and seeing another drop-off.

Miami has eliminated the latter risk by trading the Dominican Republic native. He could make the Marlins regret the move by maintaining a high level of play in 2018 and beyond, though.

Probably the biggest key for Ozuna is becoming more disciplined at the plate. His walk-to-strikeout ratio of 0.27 in 2015 would have ranked in a tie for 20th-worst in the majors if he had enough at-bats to qualify, according to FanGraphs. He started to make some strides over the past few years.

Becoming even more selective would not only help him improve his on-base percentage, but it would also go a long way in helping him see better pitches. A change of scenery and a new coaching staff could help him in that regard.

He'll join a Cardinals lineup that needed another slugger after finishing 18th in homers last season. He slots in alongside Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham in the outfield and should immediately hit in the middle of the order with Yadier Molina and Jose Martinez.

All told, while the outlook for Ozuna remains a bit unsettled because of his 2015 struggles, his play in 2016 and 2017 showed he can make a significant impact and made him worth the investment.

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Zack Greinke Trade Rumors: Rangers Discussing Possible Deal with Diamondbacks

The Texas Rangers have reportedly reached out to the Arizona Diamondbacks to discuss a possible trade for starting pitcher Zack Greinke.

On Tuesday, TR Sullivan of MLB.com reported the sides are talking during the MLB winter meetings in Orlando, Florida, but noted no deal is imminent.

    

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Zack Greinke Trade Rumors: Rangers Discussing Possible Deal with Diamondbacks

The Texas Rangers have reportedly reached out to the Arizona Diamondbacks to discuss a possible trade for starting pitcher Zack Greinke.

On Tuesday, TR Sullivan of MLB.com reported the sides are talking during the MLB winter meetings in Orlando, Florida, but noted no deal is imminent.

    

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Zack Greinke Trade Rumors: Rangers Discussing Possible Deal with Diamondbacks

The Texas Rangers have reportedly reached out to the Arizona Diamondbacks to discuss a possible trade for starting pitcher Zack Greinke.

On Tuesday, TR Sullivan of MLB.com reported the sides are talking during the MLB winter meetings in Orlando, Florida, but noted no deal is imminent.

    

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Gerrit Cole Trade Rumors: Orioles Among Teams to Contact Pirates About Move

The Baltimore Orioles have reportedly reached out to the Pittsburgh Pirates to discuss a potential trade for starting pitcher Gerrit Cole.

Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provided the update Tuesday from the MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida.

Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Monday the team would consider moving one of its rotation members in order to upgrade elsewhere.

"I guess a natural transition is, if we were able to have an opportunity to utilize one of our starters—be it one of our young starters, one of our veteran starter—in a trade that we thought made the organization better, I would think that would make sense for us," he told reporters.

Cole is coming off a down year by his typically high standards. He posted a career-high 4.26 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP across 33 starts for Pittsburgh. That said, his stuff remained electric as he racked up 196 strikeouts in 203 innings.

His best season came in 2015 when he finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting courtesy of a 2.60 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and a career-best 202 strikeouts.

The Orioles aren't the only team checking on his availability. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports noted the New York Yankees are also interested, while Tom‏ Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the Milwaukee Brewers could become involved, though a trade within the division creates extra hurdles.

In Baltimore, Cole would join Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman to create a highly promising front end of the rotation for the O's.

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MLB Winter Meetings Rumors: J.D. Martinez Expected to Meet with Red Sox, Others

The Boston Red Sox are reportedly one of the clubs expected to meet with free-agent outfielder J.D. Martinez at the MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida. 

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports passed along the update Tuesday.

Martinez is one of the top players available on the open market after a monster 2017 season with the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks. The right fielder posted a .303/.376/.690 triple-slash line with 45 home runs in just 119 games.

In September, the 30-year-old Miami native told Nick Piecoro of AZCentral Sports he planned to seek out offers from championship contenders.

"I think one of the most important things in my free agency is I want to be on a team that's relevant – a team that's good, a team that's in it," he said. "I don't want to be on a team just because (they offer the most money). I want to be on a team that's got a chance. That's what's fun. That's what you play the game for."

While Martinez downplayed the importance of money, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported last month the initial asking price from Martinez's representatives was a seven-year, $210 million contract.

Along with the Red Sox, the San Francisco Giants could also make a push to sign the slugger after missing out on Japanese dual-threat sensation Shohei Ohtani and Miami Marlins outfielder Japanese megastar Giancarlo Stanton, who was traded to the New York Yankees, per John Shea and Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Boston is an ideal fit on paper. The Red Sox won the AL East with a 93-69 record last season but could benefit from the addition of another power bat after ranking 27th in homers.

Martinez would slide in Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts to give the team one of baseball's most dangerous top halves of a lineup.

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Manny Machado Reportedly Cardinals Trade Target

The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly among the MLB clubs showing trade interest in Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado.

On Tuesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the Cards are a potential Machado suitor, but the writer noted it's unclear whether O's owner Peter Angelos will give the front office a green light to deal him.

                     

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Manny Machado Reportedly Cardinals Trade Target

The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly among the MLB clubs showing trade interest in Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado.

On Tuesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the Cards are a potential Machado suitor, but the writer noted it's unclear whether O's owner Peter Angelos will give the front office a green light to deal him.

                     

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Report: Starlin Castro on Trade Block After Being Part of Giancarlo Stanton Deal

New Miami Marlins second baseman Starlin Castro is reportedly already on the trade block after being acquired in the Giancarlo Stanton blockbuster deal Saturday.

Joel Sherman‏ of the New York Post first noted Castro's presence in the reported Stanton swap. Bob Nightengale of USA Today noted it's "hard to believe" Castro will ever make an appearance for Miami.

    

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MLB Trade Rumors: Buzz Surrounding Manny Machado and Top Players Available

The Houston Astros looked like an emerging dynasty en route to winning their first World Series title against the Los Angeles Dodgers last month. Now Major League Baseball teams are trying to make moves to challenge the reigning champions in 2018.

Along with a strong free-agent class, currently headlined by starting pitcher Yu Darvish and outfielder J.D. Martinez, there's a lot of talent available on the trade market. It gives other contenders multiple avenues to bolster their roster to compete with the 'Stros.

Let's check out some of the latest trade talk from around MLB and analyze what it could mean for the players and teams involved looking toward next season.

                

Baltimore Orioles Listening To Manny Machado Calls

Machado slugged 33 home runs during the 2017 season, but his on-base percentage dropped to .310, its lowest mark since Machado's debut campaign in 2012, and his OPS fell nearly .100 from the previous year to .781. He can also become a free agent after next season.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports noted the O's have received calls on the third baseman, who's also played some shortstop in recent years, and would be willing to consider offers. He listed the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees among possible suitors.

Whether the Yanks would still be in the mix after Heyman reported early Saturday they have a deal in place for Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton is unclear, though.

Machado is an MVP-level player when clicking on all cylinders. While his numbers last season were a bit concerning, his track record is strong and he's still just 25. There's no reason to believe he can't enjoy a strong bounce-back in 2018 and beyond.

It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Orioles start receiving more inquires about his availability once the Stanton trade becomes official. That said, he'd be a terrific building block for Philly as it attempts to turn the corner in its rebuilding efforts.

               

St. Louis Cardinals Linked To Evan Longoria, Alex Colome

With the Cardinals unable to land Stanton, it sounds like they're still going to pursue upgrades. They missed the postseason for the second straight year in 2017 after five consecutive seasons in the playoffs dating back to their World Series triumph in 2011.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the Cards have reached out to the Tampa Bay Rays about Colome, one of the league's top closers over the past two campaigns, and noted the "talks could shift or expand to include" Longoria.

The latter point likely suggests St. Louis viewed the Rays' third baseman as a back-up plan if Stanton decided to accept a trade elsewhere. Longoria isn't on the same level offensively, but he owns a career .824 OPS and has hit at least 20 homers in five straight years, including 36 in 2016.

Meanwhile, Colome wasn't as dominant this past season as he was in 2016, when he finished with a microscopic 1.91 ERA. The 28-year-old reliever still posted a 3.24 ERA across 65 outings and would give the Cardinals a right-handed complement to lefty Tyler Lyons at the back end of the bullpen.

Stanton might have been Plan A, but Colome and Longoria represent a rock-solid Plan B.

              

Chicago White Sox Seek King's Ransom For Jose Abreu

Abreu has been one of baseball's most consistent first basemen since joining the White Sox in 2013. His batting average has been .290 or better in all four seasons, he's slugged 124 total home runs and he's appeared in at least 145 games in every campaign.

The 30-year-old Cuban standout also remains under team control through 2019, with a reasonable base salary of $10.8 million for 2017, per Spotrac.

In turn, it's no shock Chicago isn't looking to move him without getting a sizable package of assets in return. Scott Lauber of ESPN.com reported a source said the South Siders want "an arm and both legs" for the infielder amid speculation of interest from the Boston Red Sox.

Although the Red Sox lineup is strong at the top with Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts, it could use a more reliable clean-up hitter to take advantage of scoring opportunities when that trio is able to get on base. Abreu certainly fits the bill.

That said, Boston must decide whether to consider paying the White Sox's apparently sky-high price or go a more cost-effective route. That could be either via free agency, a different trade or giving prospect Sam Travis a chance to lock down the starting job in Spring Training.

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Report: Teams Complaining About Shohei Ohtani’s Recruiting Process

Some MLB front offices involved in the sweepstakes to sign Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani are reportedly "suspicious" a decision was made before the recruitment process was completed.

On Wednesday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic used the term "eyewash," a baseball phrase for a lack of sincere effort, to describe how certain teams view the Ohtani free-agent derby.

                 

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Rafael Palmeiro: ‘There’s No Doubt’ I Can Make MLB Comeback at Age 53

Longtime MLB first baseman Rafael Palmeiro is considering a comeback at age 53, 12 years after his last game in the major leagues.

On Wednesday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic passed along comments from the four-time All-Star, who remains confident in his physical abilities.

"There's no doubt in my mind I can do it," Palmeiro said. "I've taken care of myself really well. I've been working out for years. Everything feels better than when I played."

The Cuba native was one of baseball's most consistent hitters across his 20-year career, which included two stints apiece with the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles after starting with the Chicago Cubs in 1986.

He posted a .288/.371/.515 triple-slash line with 569 home runs across 2,831 regular-season games. Along with his quartet of All-Star appearances, he also earned three straight Gold Glove Awards starting in 1997 and won back-to-back Silver Slugger Awards in 1998 and 1999.

His playing days came to an end on a low note, however, after he received a 10-day suspension from MLB after testing positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid, in 2005.

Palmeiro told Rosenthal the suspension was a "perfect storm that basically destroyed me" and continues to say he never knowingly took any performance-enhancing substances.

"Maybe 12 years later, I can prove to the whole world that I didn't need anything to have a good career," he said. "Maybe 12 years later, if I can come back and prove I don't need anything as an older player with an older body, then people might think, 'OK, maybe he didn't do anything intentionally.'"

At 53, it's unclear whether Palmeiro could still contribute in the field—he said he's still capable of playing first base—or if he'd be relegated to serving as a DH. Regardless, Orioles general manager Dan Duquette told The Athletic that Palmeiro's comeback would be an "interesting story," adding, "It's like tying your shoes … If you can hit, then you can hit."

All told, it's an extreme long shot Palmeiro makes it back to the majors, but he told Rosenthal he'd love the opportunity to "walk away feeling good about the whole body of work" after proving he could still play at the sport's highest level.

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