Report: Giants, Padres talk Kouzmanoff

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USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Giants have engaged the Padres on Kevin Kouzmanoff, though they haven’t come close to meeting the asking price yet.
It’d be of little surprise in one of new Padres GM Jed Hoyer’s first moves was to shed Kouzmanoff. The 28-year-old has some ability to hit for average and power, but his lousy approach at the plate has resulted in OBPs of .299 and .302 the last two years. Plus, the Padres have Chase Headley capable of stepping at third base.
According to Nightengale, the Giants are trying to swap two players they have no further use for — Fred Lewis and Kevin Frandsen — for Kouzmanoff. That’s not going to work, but the Padres probably would listen if they start talking prospects instead. They could also have some interest in Nate Schierholtz and/or John Bowker. Minnesota and Houston could be other possible destinations for Kouzmanoff. He’s still three years away from free agency and he shouldn’t make more than $2.5 million in arbitration, so he should have some value on the trade market.

Cubs sign sinkerballer Steve Cishek

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs have signed reliever Steve Cishek. No details about the deal are known yet. For what it’s worth, most relievers are signing two-year deals so far this winter and Cishek’s last deal was a two-year pact.

Cishek, 31-year-old sidearmer who throws a surprisingly fast sinkerball, posted a 2.01 ERA and a 41/14 K/BB ratio and allowed just 26 hits in 44.2 innings between the Mariners and Rays last season. He saved 25 games for the M’s in 2016. Last year he missed the first month and a half of the season following hip surgery, but seemed pretty healthy later in the year.

A nice pickup for Chicago.