Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports that the Phillies are “strong players” for free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Meanwhile, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com confirms that the Phils do indeed have interest.
The most likely scenario is that the Phillies envision Ramirez as a fallback option for their lineup if they are unable to retain free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins. They can’t possibly afford both, right? Buster Olney of ESPN.com wrote earlier this morning that it appears the Phils’ biggest competition for Rollins may come from the Brewers or Cardinals, though his colleague Jerry Crasnick hears that St. Louis doesn’t plan to pursue him even if they are unable to re-sign Albert Pujols.
Placido Polanco is still owed $6.25 million next season while his contract includes a $5.5 million mutual option for 2013 or a $1 million buyout. The 36-year-old is coming off an injury-plagued year which limited him to just 122 games, but if the Phils would likely attempt to flip him if they end up signing Ramirez.
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.