According to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, the Padres will receive compensation if (or really, when) general manager Jed Hoyer and assistant general manager Jason McLeod leave to join the new-look Cubs’ front office.
Hoyer, who has served as GM for the past two seasons, is under contract with the Padres through 2013 with a club option for 2014. He is expected to receive a five-year contract with “a significant bump in pay from his current salary” to join his friend Theo Epstein in Chicago. Hoyer previously served as one of Epstein’s top assistants with the Red Sox while McLeod was director of amateur scouting.
Initial reports suggested that the Padres would not demand compensation, but Miller writes that they will likely receive one or two lower-level minor leaguers in return. The good news is that talks between the Cubs and Padres aren’t likely to be as complicated as the Epstein situation, as Dan Hayes of the North County Times notes that Chicago chairman Tom Ricketts and San Diego majority owner Jeff Moorad are close. Josh Byrnes, who is currently the Padres’ vice president of baseball operations, is expected to take over as GM once Hoyer and McLeod leave for Chicago.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.