Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that he plans to know by the end of the Winter Meetings next week whether the club will keep Justin Upton.
“There comes a point in time when we’ve kicked the tires, gone through the process and you finally say ‘We’re keeping him. We should have a real good idea by the end of the meetings.”
It’s been deadsville on the Upton front for a week or so. One gets the sense that the Dbacks were just taking a shot at suckering someone into overpaying. It didn’t work, and they’ll put the notion to rest. Can’t say I blame them for trying. Can’t say I’d be sad to keep Justin Upton on my team going forward if I was Kevin Towers.
Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman is narrowing his pool of potential suitors, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Returning to the Orioles is one option, of course, but Heyman also mentions another two undisclosed teams who are still in the running. An earlier report from Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun suggests that as many as four teams may be in the mix; either way, a final decision is expected by Monday.
Tillman, 29, has spent the entirety of his major league career in Baltimore. After posting career-high numbers in 2016, his progress was derailed during an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, during which he missed nearly six weeks on the disabled list with recurring right shoulder inflammation. He finished the season with a bloated 7.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 4.9 SO/9 over 93 innings.
While the mystery teams have yet to reveal themselves, the Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers have all expressed interest in the veteran right-hander this offseason. Both the Blue Jays and Twins have made big moves to bolster their rotations over the last few days, with the additions of Jaime Garcia and Jake Odorizzi, respectively. That doesn’t mean that Tillman is out of reach, however — if his price is right, he could provide some much-needed depth for pitching staffs that finished 15th and 22nd in the league last year.