UPDATE: Since this rumor initially surfaced, it has been shot down by Steve Henson of Yahoo! Sports, and most importantly, by Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. And Colletti should know, because if this was a legitimate offer, he would have taken it in a heartbeat.
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports hears that the Brewers approached the Dodgers about their interest in Fielder, but there’s nothing to suggest that talks advanced from there. And that’s that. Fun while it lasted, eh?
5:21 PM: Well, this is a juicy one.
According to Tony Jackson of ESPNLA.com “the Dodgers are actively involved in discussions on a possible three-player deal with the Brewers” that would send James Loney and Jonathan Broxton to Milwaukee to Prince Fielder.
Jackson notes “multiple sources” gave him the information, so this might have some legs.
Milwaukee is obviously open to trading Fielder and Los Angeles is said to be shopping Loney pretty heavily at the winter meetings, and Broxton’s status with the Dodgers can be summed up by Jackson calling him “embattled closer.”
On the other hand, I’m just not sure why the Brewers would do that deal. Loney could step in for Fielder at first base, but he’s hardly a long-term building block and they could just as easily sign a better-hitting replacement to a reasonable one-year deal.
Picking up Broxton when his value is perhaps at an all-time low makes some sense, but do they really want the centerpiece of a trade for Fielder to be a 27-year-old reliever who’ll earn $7 million in 2011 and is just one season from free agency himself?
The Red Sox have more or less withdrawn from the Edwin Encarnacion sweepstakes, with Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald noting that much of their reluctance hinges on the likelihood that they’d exceed the new $195 million luxury tax threshold by locking the DH into a lucrative deal. That doesn’t leave them without options, however, and FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported that the club could be interested in 29-year-old corner infielder Pedro Alvarez, as well as fellow free agents Mike Napoli and Matt Holliday.
After playing just 10 games at DH from 2010 to 2015, Alvarez suited up as the Orioles’ primary designated hitter and part-time third baseman in 2016. His defense is sub-par, to say the least, but he batted .249/.322/.504 with 22 home runs for Baltimore in 2016.
According to Heyman, the Red Sox envision using Alvarez in much the same way the Orioles did. He’d have a place as the team’s DH with the occasional infield start, while Hanley Ramirez would keep his post at first base. Whether the Red Sox make offers to Napoli, Holliday or Alvarez, they’re expected to pursue a short-term deal in order to stay under budget.
The Braves signed left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren to a one-year deal, according to a team announcement on Sunday.
Lindgren, the Yankees’ top draft pick in 2014, was nicknamed “The Strikeout Factory” after blowing through four levels of New York’s farm system in 2014. He started the 2015 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and was called up for his major league debut only two months into the 2015 season. The 22-year-old lasted seven innings with the club before succumbing to bone chips in his elbow, and underwent bone spur surgery in June before trying his luck again during spring training in 2016.
In August, the Yankees shut Lindgren down for the remainder of the season so the lefty could undergo Tommy John surgery. With a projected return date of 2018, Lindgren was non-tendered by the Yankees on Friday.
While the Braves won’t get the benefit of Lindgren’s top prospect skill set in their bullpen anytime soon, he will remain under club control if they keep him on their 40-man roster beyond the 2017 season (per ESPN’s Keith Law).