I don’t know if this says more about the White Sox’ actual interests or if it simply says more about the colorful manner in which White Sox sources talk to reporters, but today — one day after the Sox were said to be “trying desperately” to get Adam Dunn — they are reported to be “trying to accelerate talks” for Prince Fielder. Tune in tomorrow to see if they’re “striving valiantly” for Lance Berkman.
Earlier reports had White Sox people saying that they didn’t think Prince Fielder was a good fit for the organization and all of that. Hard to say what that even means, because there aren’t a ton of teams that couldn’t do with his production in the midst of a playoff drive. Maybe it’s just that they felt that it would be easier to stick Adam Dunn at DH whereas Fielder’s presence may create more political problems for Paul Konerko or something. Maybe it’s a function of their being unable to land Fielder without parting with Gordon Beckham, which they don’t want to do.
Or maybe this is just Kenny Williams being smart. He’s the most obvious buyer for big honkin’ DH/1B types right now, and if he can get both the Nats and Brewers thinking he’s talking to the other, the price of both Dunn and Fielder may go down.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.