Jake Arrieta Rumors: Brewers Are ‘In’ on Former Cubs Star and Mike Moustakas

The Milwaukee Brewers are reportedly pursuing Jake Arrieta and Mike Moustakas in free agency, though it's unclear how close the team is to signing either player.

MLB analyst Jim Bowden reported the news, noting the Brewers plan to trade Travis Shaw if they land Moustakas.

Arrieta, 31, spent the last four-plus seasons with the National League Central rival Chicago Cubs, emerging as one of the best starting pitchers in the sport.

    

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

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Tommy Hunter, Phillies Reportedly Agree to 2-Year, $18 Million Contract

The Philadelphia Phillies and reliever Tommy Hunter agreed to a two-year, $18 million contract late Tuesday night.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported the deal.

Hunter, 31, went 3-5 with a 2.61 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 2017 with the Tampa Bay Rays.

     

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

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Josh Donaldson Trade Rumors: Cardinals Contacted Blue Jays About Move

Reeling after being rebuffed by Giancarlo Stanton, the St. Louis Cardinals have reportedly targeted third baseman Josh Donaldson as they look to add a power bat to their lineup. 

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the news. 

Donaldson, 32, is heading into his final year of arbitration this winter. He hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and 78 runs batted in last season. Rosenthal's report indicates the Jays are currently confident they can keep Donaldson when he hits free agency next offseason.

The Jays are considering Jay Bruce and Carlos Gonzalez as potential options to add this winter, per Rosenthal.

Donaldson has maintained he wants to stay in Toronto long term.

“I love Toronto, I love playing there," Donaldson told Shi Davidi of SportsNet in October. "By the same token, I understand their side of it and both sides have got to match. My first choice as of right now is I want to be here. I enjoy the city, I enjoy this team, I enjoy the people that are around here, and I just let him know that. I wanted to be up-front before anything else came out there, or something like that. ‘Hey this is where I stand, I want you to know this.’

“There was no talk about a contract or any type of dollars. It was just my feelings and letting him know where my heart is at and ultimately we’ll see if anything can get worked out.”

Donaldson has spent the last three seasons with the Blue Jays after being traded by the Oakland Athletics. He has become one of the best players in baseball during that timeframe, winning the 2015 American League MVP Award. Only Mike Trout and Kris Bryant have a higher WAR over the last three seasons, per FanGraphs

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Jackie Bradley Jr. Trade Rumors: Royals Interested as Red Sox Target Power Bat

The Boston Red Sox have reportedly let teams know that outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is available in trade talks as they pursue power in the middle of their lineup.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported "several" teams have had discussions with the Red Sox regarding Bradley. Rob Bradford of WEEI added the Kansas City Royals have interest, but there does not appear to be an obvious fit.

Bradley, 27, hit .245/.323/.402 with 17 home runs and 63 runs batted in last season. Those numbers were a bit of an offensive downturn from his breakout 2016, which saw him perform like one of the best players in baseball.

The Red Sox were never serious suitors for Giancarlo Stanton, the reigning NL MVP who was traded to the rival New York Yankees last week. However, they're known to be in the market for some additional power in their lineup. Their designated hitter spot was one of the weakest in baseball last season, and no Red Sox player hit more than 24 home runs.

Boston's 168 home runs as a team were the fourth-worst total in baseball and by far the lowest for a playoff team. The power outage was one determining factor in the Red Sox being eliminated in the ALDS for the second straight season.

Bradley is perhaps the best defensive center fielder in the sport, with his brilliance atoning for oftentimes inconsistent play in the batters box. Andrew Benintendi, also a stellar defensive outfielder, would likely take over in center field if the Red Sox parted with Bradley.

“We like our outfield,” Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said last month, per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “Now, again, you’re always open-minded to anything. That’s why you have to sit down with clubs, you have conversations with them, hear what they have to say.”

The Yankees' acquisition of Stanton, which gives them MLB's top two home run hitters from last season, may have led to a change of heart from Dombrowski. 

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Brian Cashman, Yankees Reportedly Agree to 5-Year, $25M+ Contract Extension

The New York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman agreed to a five-year contract extension that will pay him more than $25 million.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported the news. The deal will put Cashman's compensation in the "upper echelon" of MLB executives.

Cashman, 50, has been the Yankees' general manager since 1998.

          

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

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CC Sabathia Rumors: Angels Considering 37-Year Old After Shohei Ohtani Signing

After losing out to the Los Angeles Angels on Shohei Ohtani, the New York Yankees might also see CC Sabathia make a move to SoCal.

George A. King II of the New York Post reported the Angels have had contact with Sabathia's representation about joining Ohtani in Anaheim.

Sabathia, 37, is a free agent after spending the last nine seasons in New York.

 

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Jose Abreu Trade Rumors: White Sox Would Have to Be ‘Overwhelmed’ to Make Deal

While the baseball world was just rocked by Giancarlo Stanton's trade to the New York Yankees, the Chicago White Sox have no plans to add to the growing list of sluggers on the move.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the White Sox would have to be "overwhelmed" to deal first baseman Jose Abreu, citing his strong presence in the clubhouse.

Abreu, 30, is heading into his second arbitration year after hitting .304/.354/.552 with 33 home runs and 102 runs batted in last season.

The White Sox went 67-95 last season and are clearly in the midst of a retooling phase with their franchise. That's led to some speculation that Abreu could be on the move, with the prospect of free agency in 2020 adding a little bit of urgency to Chicago's thinking.

Teams that missed out on the Stanton sweepstakes—particularly the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants—could have targeted Abreu with offers similar to the ones they gave Miami for Stanton. Abreu does not have a no-trade clause, so he would not be able to control the process in the same way as Stanton did.

“We are going to be opportunistic when chances to improve ourselves, both in the short and long term, arise,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said ahead of the winter meetings, per Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune. “We have areas where we know we can get better. Certainly, the pitching staff does need reinforcements after the moves we made last summer.”

Abreu has spent his entire career in Chicago after defecting from Cuba, hitting 124 home runs and driving in 410 runs in four seasons with the team. He ranks seventh in wins above replacement among first basemen since his rookie season, per FanGraphs.

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Giancarlo Stanton Trade Rumors: Star Reportedly Not Sold on Giants, Cardinals

Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is refusing to approve a trade to the San Francisco Giants or St. Louis Cardinals, instead preferring to hold out for the Los Angeles Dodgers or New York Yankees to become a serious player.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the news.

Stanton, 28, hit .281/.376/.631 with 59 home runs and 132 runs batted in this past season on his way to the National League MVP.

 

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

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Blue Jays Owner Rogers Communications Considering Selling Franchise

Tony Staffieri, the chief financial officer of Rogers Communications Inc., said Tuesday the company is considering selling the Toronto Blue Jays so it can acquire other assets.

Natalie Wong of Bloomberg reported the news. The sale of the franchise is not imminent.

Rogers Communications has owned the Blue Jays since 2000.

    

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

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Shohei Ohtani Rumors: Star Meets with Rangers, Mariners, Cubs Representatives

Japanese baseball sensation Shohei Ohtani met with representatives of the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported the list of teams.

Ohtani, 23, is arguably the top free agent on the market. He's expected to meet with the San Diego Padres on Wednesday after meeting with the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, per Rosenthal.

A two-way threat who hits with power from the outfield and reaches triple digits on the mound, Ohtani could become the first player in modern baseball to play the field and pitch regularly. He's been perhaps the premier player in Japan doing both over the last five seasons.

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Ohtani is looking for a smaller market or to play on the West Coast—or both.

"I am not yet a complete player yet, and I want to go to an environment where I can continue to get better," Ohtani said last month. "I felt the same way when I graduated from high school. And it is my strongest reason for wanting to go now." 

 

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Giancarlo Stanton Trade Rumors: Latest for Giants, Dodgers, Cardinals

The Giancarlo Stanton saga may be nearing its conclusion. All that's left is Stanton giving his OK to choose his next destination.

Jon Paul Morosi and Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reported the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants each have a framework in place to trade for the Miami Marlins slugger. Miami has given both teams permission to speak with Stanton, who has a full no-trade clause.

The Giants are reportedly offering prospects outfielder/first baseman Chris Shaw, right-hander Tyler Beede and outfielder Heliot Ramos. Second baseman Joe Panik could also be involved in the deal. Morosi previously reported the Marlins were willing to take a package of Panik, Shaw and Beede provided the Giants pick up $250 million of the $295 million remaining on Stanton's contract.

The Marlins are also interested in Cardinals pitching prospects Jack Flaherty and Sandy Alcantara. It's unclear if either or both prospects are on the table in St. Louis' offer.

Stanton, 28, hit .281/.376/.631 with 59 home runs and drove in 132 runs in 2017. His 59 home runs were the most in an MLB season since Sammy Sosa hit 61 and Barry Bonds set the all-time record with 73 in 2001. He became the first Marlins player in franchise history to win the National League MVP.

Miami is looking to trade Stanton almost entirely for financial reasons. New ownership, spearheaded by former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, has set a goal of turning the Marlins into a financially viable franchise. The team has lost millions of dollars in recent years under previous ownership.

"We're trying to build an organization that's sustainable over time," Jeter told reporters. "I don't like the world 'rebuild' because I think a lot of negativity comes with that. But we're trying to build something here. And we will build something. But it will take time, and there has to be patience."

Stanton's contract is set to run through the 2028 season, paying him at least $25 million annually. The Marlins have avoided paying the bulk of the 13-year, $325 million contract he signed in 2015 and are looking to get out from under as much of it as possible.

"It's an interesting feeling and situation for me," Stanton told reporters in October. "This is the only place I've known, but I also understand the business part of it and the direction the new ownership wants to go.

"The thoughts [this week] were up and down. ... Everything that's going on, how is this going to turn out, what's going to happen with my team and my teammates and me, etc. It's a lot of thoughts going on, but luckily I don't have to worry about playing at 7 o'clock every night [with] those thoughts.”

Stanton's preferred destination is the Los Angeles Dodgers, but it appears there has not been any significant progress made on a deal. The Dodgers and Marlins remain in contact. However, the MLB.com report indicates the Dodgers are wary of potential luxury tax implications of adding Stanton's salary. 

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Giancarlo Stanton Trade Rumors: Red Sox No Longer in Talks over Marlins Star

The Boston Red Sox are out of the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes.

Craig Mish of SiriusXM reported the Red Sox are no longer engaged in trade talks with the Miami Marlins for Stanton, noting they were a long shot all along.

Stanton, 28, is the reigning National League MVP. He hit .281/.376/.631 with 59 home runs and 132 RBI 2017, making him the first player with at least 59 homers since 2001.

    

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Giancarlo Stanton Trade Rumors: Red Sox No Longer in Talks over Marlins Star

The Boston Red Sox are out of the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes.

Craig Mish of SiriusXM reported the Red Sox are no longer engaged in trade talks with the Miami Marlins for Stanton, noting they were a long shot from the beginning.

Stanton, 28, is the reigning National League MVP. He hit .281/.376/.631 with 59 home runs and 132 RBI in 2017, making him the first player with at least 59 homers since 2001.

Despite being the face of the Marlins franchise and the most feared slugger in baseball, Miami is looking to move Stanton for financial reasons. He's owed $295 million over the remainder of a 13-year, $325 million contract he signed in 2014. The deal runs through 2028 and pays him at least $25 million each season.

The Marlins' new ownership group, spearheaded by former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, is looking to cut payroll as it rebuilds the franchise. Jeter told reporters last month the Marlins are "an organization that's been losing money for quite some time, so we have to turn that around."

Stanton has been aware for months he was likely playing his last games in Miami.

"It's an interesting feeling and situation for me," Stanton told reporters in November. "This is the only place I've known. But I also understand the business part of it, the direction that new ownership wants to go. ...

"The thoughts were up and down. They were pretty bipolar of everything that's going on, how [the MVP] was going to turn out and what's going to happen to my team and my teammates ... and me."

The Red Sox are a playoff team with a solid outfield, so Stanton would have been a luxury acquisition more than a necessity. They'll likely look to make moves to shore up their infield and pitching staff this offseason.

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Giancarlo Stanton Trade Rumors: MIA Want Giants to Pay $250m of Star’s Contract

The Miami Marlins have agreed to lower their asking price in trade talks for Giancarlo Stanton with the San Francisco Giants—provided the club picks up $250 million of the $295 million remaining on his contract.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported the Marlins have "likely" come around on a package highlighted by second baseman Joe Panik, pitching prospect Tyler Beede and outfield prospect Chris Shaw for Stanton. The Giants would, in exchange, have to assume the vast majority of Stanton's contract, which is the impetus for Miami looking to deal the reigning NL MVP.  

Stanton, 28, hit .281/.376/.631 with 59 home runs and 132 runs batted in this past season. His 59 home runs were the most in MLB since 2001, when Sammy Sosa hit 61 and Barry Bonds set the single-season record with 73.

Rumors have been persistent about a trade since the Marlins were sold to a group that includes former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. 

"It's an interesting feeling and situation for me,” Stanton told reporters last month. "This is the only place I've known, but I also understand the business part of it and the direction the new ownership wants to go.

"The thoughts [this week] were up and down. ... Everything that's going on, how is this going to turn out, what's going to happen with my team and my teammates and me, etc. It's a lot of thoughts going on, but luckily I don't have to worry about playing at 7 o'clock every night [with] those thoughts.”

The Giants are coming off a disappointing 64-98 season but are expected to be major players this winter. Adding Stanton could be the first domino in an active offseason as they try to rebound from a massive downturn few saw coming.



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Giancarlo Stanton Trade Rumors: MIA Want Giants to Pay $250m of Star’s Contract

The Miami Marlins have agreed to lower their asking price in trade talks for Giancarlo Stanton with the San Francisco Giants—provided the club picks up $250 million of the $295 million remaining on his contract.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported the Marlins have "likely" come around on a package highlighted by second baseman Joe Panik, pitching prospect Tyler Beede and outfield prospect Chris Shaw for Stanton. The Giants would, in exchange, have to assume the vast majority of Stanton's contract, which is the impetus for Miami looking to deal the reigning NL MVP.  

 

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

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Giancarlo Stanton Wins 2017 NL MVP Award

Giancarlo Stanton might not be a Miami Marlin for much longer, if rampant trade rumors are to be believed. But if he's played his final game as a member of the club, he's going out in style.

Stanton was named the National League Most Valuable Player on Thursday, narrowly edging Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto. He is the first Marlins MVP in history. 

The Marlins slugger hit .281/.376/.631 with 59 home runs and 132 runs batted. His 59 homers were the most since 2001, when Sammy Sosa hit 61 and Barry Bonds broke the all-time record with 73. The performance came a year after Stanton set career lows in nearly every major offensive category. 

"He came to spring training on a mission: 'I want to do this, this and this—and don't let the result take me away from it, because I could do something wrong and hit a homer,'" Frank Menechino, the Marlins assistant hitting coach, told Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. "He wanted consistency. After what he went through the year before, he was like, 'That's not happening again.'"

Despite Stanton's power numbers, many expected this award to go to Goldschmidt. The perennial All-Star has been on the precipice of winning the MVP for years but never quite got the votes. Following yet another typically brilliant season that saw him lead the Diamondbacks to the playoffs, Goldschmidt had a chance to be rewarded as a bastion of consistency.

Instead, he will have to wait at least another year after being outperformed by another player's once-in-a-generation power numbers. 

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Giancarlo Stanton Trade Rumors: Giants, Cardinals’ Interest Is ‘Most Intense’

The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly the two teams with the most interest in trading for Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.

Longtime MLB reporter Peter Gammons described their interest as "most intense" but said it's unclear if Stanton would be interested in playing for either franchise.

         

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

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Red Sox’s Jackie Bradley Jr. Rumored to Be Trade Target for SF Giants

The San Francisco Giants are reportedly interested in a potential trade for Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., though it's unclear if he's available in a deal.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported Bradley is among the names the Giants are considering to fill a need in the outfield.

Bradley, 27, hit .245/.323/.402 with 17 home runs and 63 runs batted in last season. He is headed into his second year of arbitration this winter.

 

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

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44-Year-Old Bartolo Colon Plans to Pitch in MLB for 2018 Season

Bartolo Colon isn't looking to end his MLB career. The 44-year-old pitcher reportedly plans to pitch in the 2018 season if he's signed as a free agent. 

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported the news.

Colon, who made his MLB debut in 1997, split the 2017 season with the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins. He posted a 7-14 record with a 6.48 ERA and 1.59 WHIP.

 

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MLB Free Agents 2018: Predictions, Rumors for Top FAs as Hot-Stove Season Opens

The MLB free-agency period officially opened Monday, as players can begin signing with new teams less than a week after the Houston Astros captured the 2017 World Series.

We aren't likely to see a flurry of immediate activity. MLB's free-agency period is a bit more slow moving than the three other major professional sports. Agents like Scott Boras prefer to take their time with negotiations on top-level free agents and can often milk the process for even a month or two before making a decision.

Some players, most often aging sluggers and pitchers, will hang out on the market as spring training nears before signing lucrative deals. Edwin Encarnacion did not sign until January last winter. 

Here is a look at a couple of rumors going around MLB at the moment, along with predictions for where top free agents sign.

                      

Rangers Still Interested in Alex Cobb?

A year ago the Texas Rangers were linked to a potential trade for pitcher Alex Cobb despite the righty recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Things have not changed following a stellar 2017 in Tampa. Jeff Wilson of the Star Telegram reported the Rangers still have interest in Cobb as he becomes a free agent this winter. 

Cobb went 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 29 starts last season. His 179.1 innings were a career high.

"As vital as he's been on the mound, he's probably been just as vital in the clubhouse and the way he's carried himself," Rays manager Kevin Cash said last month, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. "He's been vocal when he needs to be vocal, and quiet when he needs to be quiet and grabbed a guy aside. Alex has never really made it about him—he's always made it about the club and about helping his teammates."

The Rangers would be looking for Cobb to fill a back-half slot in their rotation, and he should come at a relatively reasonable price. Cobb has never won more than 12 games in a season. The highest WAR of his career is 2.8, which is a fine number but not something worthy of building a staff around. 

It's possible Cobb winds up becoming one of the bargains of this free-agency class because of his relative consistency—he's posted an above-2 WAR each of his last four healthy seasons—and lack of a truly elite season.

                  

Eric Hosmer Return Still an Option?

When Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar tipped their caps to Royals fans at their home finale, it was the end of an era. All four players are free agents this winter, and the mid-market Royals aren't going to be able to sign them all. Or possibly any of them.

The Royals have made it clear which of the four they prefer to keep, if any. Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reported the team is expected to attempt to coax Hosmer into staying while "monitoring the market for his services." Kansas City wants to retain Hosmer at a reasonable price and sees him as a fit for whatever the organization decides to do moving forward.

Dodd wrote that agent Scott Boras is hoping to fetch $200 million, which would likely be out of the Royals' price range. The $200 million could be a little steep for any team, especially given Hosmer's production does not match up with such an exorbitant contact.

Hosmer set a career high with a 4.1 WAR in 2017 but was worth -0.1 wins a year prior. Over the last four seasons, 11 first basemen have been worth more wins.

The leadership qualities Hosmer provides to a clubhouse are important but should be more valuable to the Royals than any other team. If any team is going to get him in even the $150 million range, it should be Kansas City. 

                

Top MLB Free Agents 

1. Yu Darvish (predicted destination: re-signs with Dodgers)

2. J.D. Martinez (predicted destination: signs with Giants)

3. Jake Arrieta (predicted destination: signs with Angels)

4. Eric Hosmer (predicted destination: re-signs with Royals)

5. Mike Moustakas (predicted destination: signs with Cardinals)

6. Jay Bruce (predicted destination: signs with Rangers)

7. Wade Davis (predicted destination: re-signs with Cubs)

8. Lorenzo Cain (predicted destination: signs with Red Sox)

9. Lance Lynn (predicted destination: signs with Rangers)

10. Carlos Santana (predicted destination: re-signs with Indians)

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