Finally, some news to pass along concerning this offseason’s top free agent: Albert Pujols.
According to MLB.com’s Matthew Leach, the 31-year-old first baseman is scheduled to meet with Marlins officials in Miami “within the next few days.”
The meeting will probably be similar to the one that free agent shortstop Jose Reyes took part in earlier this week. He was given a tour of the Marlins’ nearly-finished ballpark in Little Havana and treated to a meal at the famous Joe’s Stone Crab.
Pujols has registered a .328/.420/.617 career batting line through his first 11 major league seasons and is already considered one of the greatest right-handed hitters in baseball history. He’s likely to command a free agent contract worth north of $200 million.
The Cardinals want Albert back badly and are considered by many to be the current favorite for his services, but they’re going to have some competition this winter and the Fish might represent a real threat.
It’s not known if the St. Louis front office has had contact with Pujols since the World Series parade.
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.