Winter meetings notes: Day 1

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Let’s touch on some stuff that didn’t make it into the blog entries:
*ESPN’s Jayson Stark says the Blue Jays and Dodgers discussed Roy Halladay but didn’t find a match.
In no small part because the Dodgers are apparently flat broke.
*The Mariners are talking to free agent reliever Darren Oliver about a contract, says FOXSports.com.
Perhaps Jack Zduriencik’s biggest misstep in his rookie year as the Mariners’ GM was giving away Eric O’Flaherty on waivers. The team could use a lefty for the bullpen, and besides Mike Gonzalez, Oliver would seem to be the best option available.
*The Red Sox met with Justin Duchscherer’s agent on Sunday night, according to WEEI.com.
It’d be an upset if Boston didn’t land one or two pitchers from the group of high-upside-but-injury-prone pitchers that includes Ben Sheets, Rich Harden, Erik Bedard, Duchscherer and Kelvim Escobar. I’d put John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez in that class as well, but the Red Sox aren’t going there.
*The Yankees and Mets have joined the Red Sox in inquiring about Escobar, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Escobar is considering pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League to show teams what he can do. He’ll probably have to if he expects to land a guaranteed contract. Otherwise, he’d only be worth a flier on a minor league contract.
*SI.com’s Jon Heyman thinks the Mets’ forthcoming offer to Bengie Molina could be a one-year deal worth $6 million with an option for 2011.
As the top catcher on the market, Molina won’t be quick to take a one-year offer. The Giants might be willing to re-sign him if he backs down from his request for a multiyear pact, so the Mets will probably have to guarantee that second year if they hope to bring him in.

Dave Roberts: It “doesn’t make sense” for Scott Kazmir to start year in Dodgers’ rotation

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Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.

Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.

Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.

Robert Gsellman wins spot in Mets’ rotation

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Robert Gsellman has won the No. 4 spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. He adds that the Mets are likely to play things cautiously with lefty Steven Matz. The fifth and final rotation spot will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo.

Gsellman, 23, has had a great spring. The right-hander has allowed three earned runs on 15 hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. That is on the heels of seven solid starts at the end of the 2016 season during which he yielded 12 earned runs on 40 hits and 12 walks with 40 strikeouts in 41 innings.

Matz, 25, is dealing with irritation in his left elbow. He had surgery in October to remove a bone spur and was a Tommy John patient several years ago. It sounds like the Mets are leaning towards having him start the season on the disabled list.

Wheeler, 26, isn’t having a great spring. He’s surrendered seven runs in 7 1/3 innings. Lugo has given up three earned runs in seven spring innings and also looked solid in the World Baseball Classic although he took the loss in the final against the United States.