UPDATE: Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Mariners plan to meet with free agent first baseman Prince Fielder tonight.
6:45 p.m. EST update: Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik characterized Bowden’s report as “misleading,” MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports. But then Zduriencik admitted that he’d “prefer to be low key on any discussion,” suggesting that he wouldn’t be admitting anything even if something were brewing.
4:05 p.m. EST update: ESPN’s Jim Bowden states that the Mariners are now the frontrunners for Fielder, though he offers nothing to back it up (he rarely does).
While Albert Pujols may be poised to get a 10-year contract from the Marlins, the Prince Fielder proposals are proving to be on the shorter side.
Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB Network Radio’s Jim Bowden that he won’t go past five years for Fielder, making his bid a long shot.
The Cubs are also interested in a shorter deal. FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal tweets that Theo Epstein’s club “would pay high dollars in exchange for shorter term.”
The Brewers have yet to completely rule themselves out of the running for Fielder, but a return to Milwaukee is shaping up as very unlikely. Rumored interest from the Orioles and Mariners has yet to produce any known offers, but the market may perk up once Pujols makes his choice.
Fielder, 27, finished third in the NL MVP balloting after hitting .299/.415/.566 with 38 homers and 120 RBI last season. He’s a three-time All-Star who led the NL in homers in 2007 and in RBI in 2009. He’s also played in at least 157 games in each of his six full seasons in the bigs.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.