The Indians traded for Trevor Bauer last month and signed Brett Myers to a one-year free agent deal earlier this evening. But their thirst for starting rotation candidates apparently remains strong.
According to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi, the Indians “have had dialogue” with righty Shaun Marcum. It’s possible that the yet-to-be-finalized Myers contract will end that pursuit, but what’s also possible is that the Cleveland front office has been directed to inject some life into a roster that won 68 games in 2012.
The Indians gave free agent outfielder Nick Swisher a four-year, $56 million deal last month and have seemingly decided to keep shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who will make $16.5 million over the next two seasons. They also signed first baseman Mark Reynolds to a one-year, $6 million contract.
Marcum, 31, posted a 3.70 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 109/41 K/BB ratio in 124 innings last year for the Brewers. He missed a large chunk of time with a right elbow injury, which should make him inexpensive but isn’t necessarily keeping teams away. The Royals, Twins and Padres have also been linked to him recently.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.