The free agent market opened for business less than a week ago, so Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is just getting started in his search for a starting pitcher.
He got in touch with the agent for C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt over the weekend and contacted Mark Buehrle’s agent Jeff Berry earlier today. Buster Olney of ESPN.com writes Cashman is just doing his “due diligence” as he gets his lay of the free agent landscape, but he also mentions that it’s “highly unlikely” the Yankees will make a serious run at Buehrle.
Interesting. This is the Yankees we’re talking about, so it’s impossible to rule them out on any free agent, but it sure doesn’t sound like Buehrle will be hurting for offers this winter. The veteran left-hander met with the Marlins today and his agent hinted last week that he could prefer pitching in the National League. While they may get priced out due to the competition in a weak market for free agent starters, Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com notes that the White Sox remain in the mix, as well.
Buehrle, who turns 33 in March, went 13-9 with a 3.59 ERA over 31 starts this season. He has 11 straight seasons of at least 200 innings pitched.
According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain has a deal with the Brewers. No confirmation or terms of the contract have been confirmed by the team yet.
Chamberlain, 31, had a promising resurgence in the Indians’ bullpen during 2016. He shaved his ERA down to a modest 2.25 mark over 20 innings with Cleveland, paired with an 8.1 SO/9 and less-than-stellar 5.0 BB/9 rate. Over a decade in the major leagues, the right-hander holds a career 3.81 ERA, 8.8 SO/9 and 3.7 BB/9 rate.
The veteran righty was released by the Indians in July after refusing re-assignment. He’s expected to compete for a major league role this spring.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.