Brandon Webb is being pursued by the Rangers, Cubs and maybe the Nationals. And, according to Jerry Crasnick, there’s “an unidentified NL Central team” interested as well.
You can’t fool me with your calm, precise and non-inflammatory rhetoric, Jerry. That’s a mystery team. Don’t worry, I’m a lawyer and I checked. You don’t have to pay Heyman royalties for using that term. Not yet anyway.
Who could it be? Tom Haudricort reports that it’s not the Brewers. Depending on how realistic Webb’s contract demands are, however, it could be any of the others. Even the Pirates, who would be wise to go after reclamation projects like Webb with an eye toward flipping him to a contender if he pans out in the first half. He’d be a fifth starter in St. Louis. He could conceivably break the Reds’ rotation if he’s healthy. The Astros could use all the help they can get.
All I know is that I’m not going to assume that the mystery team is baloney anymore. They have been proven to exist.
Update (5:04 PM EST): The White Sox will receive pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning from the Nationals, per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. MLB Pipeline rated them No. 1, 3, and 6 in the Nationals’ minor league system.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals are close to acquiring outfielder Adam Eaton from the White Sox. He notes that outfielder Victor Robles, the Nationals’ No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is not included in the deal.
Eaton, 28, is signed to a very team-friendly contract. He’ll earn $4 million in 2017, $6 million in ’18, and $8.4 million in ’19. His controlling team then has a club option worth $9.5 million in 2020 with a $1.5 million buyout and a $10.5 million club option in ’21 with a $1.5 million buyout.
This past season, Eaton was worth 3.9 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference after playing significantly above-average defense while batting .284/.362/.428 with 14 home runs, 59 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 706 plate appearances.
If the deal goes through, the Nationals would move Trea Turner from center field to shortstop. Meanwhile, the White Sox continue their teardown after trading Chris Sale to the Red Sox on Tuesday.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Marlins have signed veteran catcher A.J. Ellis to a one-year, $2.5 million deal.
Ellis, 35, began the 2016 season with the Dodgers but went to the Phillies in the Carlos Ruiz trade near the end of August. Overall, he hit .216/.301/.298 in 196 plate appearances.
Ellis will back up J.T. Realmuto behind the dish.