Jon Heyman tweets* that the Rangers have joined the White Sox and Angels as teams who have made inquiries about Prince Fielder.
How on Earth the Rangers could possibly justify taking on Prince Fielder’s salary obligations is beyond me. There was enough beefing about Cliff Lee and he makes pennies compared to Fielder, who is owed nearly $4 million for the remainder of this year and is arbitration-eligible for 2011 and will get way into eight figures. Rival executives — who are indirectly picking up the Rangers’ tab — fumed when Lee was traded. They’d probably storm Bud Selig’s office if Fielder went to Texas.
The Angels part of that doesn’t make a ton of sense either. For starters, the Angels don’t have the prospects to give up for him. Moreover, they’d run into roster problems next season as Kendry Morales is coming back and, in all likelihood, Bobby Abreu will be the everyday DH. And Fielder doesn’t want to DH in 2011 anyway. Other than that, totally spiffy.
*I’m only aware Heyman tweeted that second hand — and I can’t even read the link — because for some reason Heyman has decided to block me from following him on Twitter. 36,000 followers, but I’m not allowed. I emailed to ask him why he did it, but it’s been over 48 hours now and he hasn’t responded.
Perhaps he did it because he’s tired of me noting that he has a habit of talking up strange trade and signing rumors of Scott Boras clients to bidding/division rivals like, say, the Rangers and the Angels. But that’s just me having fun with him. I mean, he’d never, ever really do that, right?
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.