Yahoo!’s Tim Brown reports that the Dodgers — previously thought to be unable or unwilling to do anything at the deadline — have been “very aggressive” in pursuit of pitching, making calls about Dan Haren, Roy Oswalt, Ted Lilly, Jake Westbrook and Fausto Carmona. Brown also reports that the Dodgers are interested in the eleventeen relievers the Blue Jays are shopping.
Frankly I’d be shocked if the Dodgers landed a big name like Oswalt or Haren (and Haren may not really be available anyway). I say this both because of the apparent payroll restrictions Frank McCourt has placed on the team but also because the Dodgers probably need an ace less than they need a merely competent, reliable starter.
Sure, everyone would like an ace, but the real issue in L.A. is not the top of the rotation, where Clayton Kershaw has been pretty good most of the year, but the back end of the rotation where John Ely, Carlos Monasterios and James McDonald have been committing crimes against baseball humanity for most of the season. If they had no other holes, sure, shoot the wad on a top starter, but with bullpen and rotation needs, it’s probably better for Ned Colletti to focus on a Westbrook/Carmona type and use whatever resources he has left over to shore up the pen.
The Mets told Jay Bruce that the club plans on having him open the season as the everyday right fielder, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. This comes as no surprise after the Mets failed to get any bites after dangling Bruce as a trade chip. The Mets reportedly wanted a pair of prospects in exchange for Bruce.
With Bruce in right, Yoenis Cespedes back in left, and Curtis Granderson in center, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out. He’ll either warm the bench or head back to Triple-A Las Vegas for regular at-bats.
Bruce, who turns 30 years old in April, had a rough final two months of the 2016 season after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. He hit a paltry .219/.294/.391 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 187 plate appearances. Bruce, apparently, wanted to go anywhere but in New York.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.