There have been mixed messages over just how much the Orioles have to spend this winter, but it looks like they are considering one big-ticket item after meeting with Nick Swisher’s agent, Dan Lozano, on Tuesday.
Three other teams also met with Lozano about Swisher, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown.
Swisher, who is married to actress JoAnna Garcia, is believed to prefer to play in New York or Los Angeles, but none of the four clubs with those cities in their names have expressed any interest. San Francisco would seem to be a reasonable compromise, but the Giants are likely out of the mix after re-signing Angel Pagan.
Assuming all of that holds true, Baltimore might be one of the best options for Swisher. He’d likely play left field for the Orioles, replacing Nolan Reimold and Nate McLouth. McLouth is a free agent, and Reimold would likely become trade bait in such a scenario. Alternatively, the Orioles could use Swisher at first base and make Chris Davis their DH.
The Mariners are also believed to be considering Swisher, and the Rangers could enter the mix if Josh Hamilton departs. For that reason, Swisher may wait to see what happens with Hamilton before he picks his destination.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.
It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.
The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.