Let us first stipulate that, yeah, it’s probably way too early for free agent rumors. So much happens between now and when guys file that it’s kinda silly for anyone to put too much stock in the various whispers out there. But hey: if people can spend all day arguing that wins are what makes a pitcher great, I can engage in some irresponsible rumor mongering too, right?
This one is fun: Buster Olney says that the Orioles may go after Victor Martinez “in a combo 1B-C-DH/leader type of role.”
Who knows if it would happen, but I think it’s not a terrible idea. They have no first baseman to speak of for 2011. I’m assuming they’ll keep Luke Scott around to DH next year — he’s arbitration eligible and will get a raise — but he can play a corner if need be, and of course Matt Wieters could use an occasional rest. Martinez’s defensive flexibility could allow Buck Showalter to do a lot of things.
I know that the first thing most people say when they talk about fixing the Orioles is to work on pitching, but they’re 13th in the AL in both runs scored and runs allowed (and the pitching has been better in recent weeks). Improvement in any capacity would be a good thing.
Former Tigers infielder Casey McGehee has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
It’s the fourth move the corner infielder has made in the last two seasons after seeing short-term stints with the Marlins, Giants and Tigers. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers prior to the 2016 season, providing the club with some infield depth behind 24-year-old Nick Castellanos. When Castellanos hit the disabled list in August with a broken hand, McGehee was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a 30-game stint and slashed .228/.260/.239 with one extra-base hit in 96 PA. His career batting line (.258/.317/.384 over eight seasons) isn’t too shabby, but his age and a long history of knee injuries puts a damper on his potential.
McGehee last appeared in the NPB circuit in 2013, when he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He spent the bulk of his season at the hot corner, batting an impressive .292/.396/.515 with 28 homers in 590 PA and appearing in the Eagles’ first and only championship run to date.
The deal comes with a club option for 2018, Rosenthal reports, though no figure has been specified.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.