All-Star Cole Hamels has more best friends that he knows what to do with. While opposing teams can’t talk to the free-agent-to-be, players on other teams are under no such restrictions.
“All I say to them is that I’ve been to every city, and I know what every city is like,” Hamels told Danny Knobler of CBS Sports on Tuesday.
Incidentally, Hamels has his locker stationed next to Clayton Kershaw’s in the Kansas City visitors clubhouse. Flush with cash, the Dodgers seem pretty likely to be the high bidder for Hamels this winter, assuming that the Phillies can’t sign him to an extension before then.
“I would love to have him there,” Kershaw told Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. “Our whole team would love to have a guy of his caliber. I hope we make a run at him.”
Hamels made it sound like testing free agency is the likely scenario.
“Anybody that wants to win, they’ve got a fair shot,” he said.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.