Trade rumors swirled around Gavin Floyd all offseason as the White Sox shed various veterans in rebuilding mode and have picked up again with a report that the Blue Jays are interested in the 29-year-old right-hander.
Floyd tossed four innings of one-run ball yesterday and then responded to questions from Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune about whether he’s bothered by the rumors:
It’s a good thing in a way. Teams want you. But I want to be here, it’s our second home here. I look forward to making an impact in Chicago. I just was hearing things. People were text messaging me but until it happens you really don’t know. They’re all rumors, and a lot of those don’t necessarily come from the teams.
At this point it seems safe to assume that the White Sox are very willing to deal Floyd, but aren’t in any rush to do so unless they get an excellent return. Several sources have reported that the Blue Jays are in the market for veteran starting pitching, but in addition to Floyd they’ve also been linked to Joe Blanton of the Phillies.
Floyd, who threw 194 innings with a 4.37 ERA and 151/45 K/BB ratio last season, is owed $7 million this year with a $9.5 million team option for 2013.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.